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The U.S. Against Iran – A War of Apples vs. Oranges
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One of the most frustrating tasks is to try to debunk the Hollywood myths imprinted on the mind of Americans about warfare in general and about special forces and technology in particular. When last week I wrote my column about the first SNAFUs of the Trump Presidency I pretty much expected that some of the points I made would fall on deaf ears and that indeed did happen. What I propose to do today is to try, yet again, to explain the vast difference between what I would call “the American way of war” as seen in propaganda movies and the reality of warfare.

Let’s begin with the issue of the use of special operation forces and immediately say what they are not: special operation forces are not SWAT or anti-terrorist forces. The US propaganda machine has imprinted on the mind of people in the West that if a force is “elite” and looks “tacti-cool” it is some kind of special force. By that criteria, even some riot cops could be considered as “special forces”. This is, by the way, not only an American sin. The Russians have gone down the exact same ridiculous road and now you have “spetsnaz” forces all over Russia – even the Russian equivalent of the US department of correction which now has “spetsnaz” forces to deal with prison riots! Likewise, the famous anti-terrorist unit “A” (mistakenly called “Alpha” as opposed to the US “Delta”) is exactly that – an anti-terrorist unit and not a military special force. So what are, stricto sensu, special forces? They are a military force which participates to the overall war effort but autonomously and not in direct support of the main/conventional fighting force. Depending on the country and service, special forces can deal with a variety of tasks ranging from providing “advisors” to what Americans call direct action operation such as the recent ill-fated attack on the al-Qaeda compound in Yemen. Just like airborne forces, special forces have often been misused, especially when conventional forces could not be counted on, but that does not mean that SWAT and anti-terrorist forces should be thought of as “special forces”. Special forces are always military forces and they operate in support of military operations.

[Sidebar: some American readers who where miffed by my assertions that US special forces have a terrible real-life record have tried to counter with a logically fallacious argument: what about Russian special forces, are they any better? Examples given where Beslan, Nord-Ost and Budennovsk. There are two problems with this argument: one, none of these events can be considered as “special operations” and, two, even if the Russian special forces have a terrible record, this hardly means that the US special forces' record is good or, even less so, better. Besides, these three tragedies are totally different. The Budennovsk hospital hostage crisis was, indeed, a total disaster which occurred against the backdrop of another total disaster, the First Chechen war, and which resulted in 130 dead civilians out of a total of about 2000. That is a 93.5% of hostages which survived. Considering that the civilians political authorities were arguably the worst in Russian history and considering that the hostage takers were well over 100 hardened Chechen terrorists, I think that this is not the “disaster” that civilians like to think of. Next, let's look at Beslan. Here we have well over 1000 hostages when 385 fatalities – much more of a “disaster” indeed. But let's remember what happened that day: a bomb, apparently one of the biggest one held in the sports hall, blew up which resulted in local civilians (parents) spontaneously storming the school. At this point, the anti-terror forces simply joined in to save as many people as possible and many of them died by shielding the kids with the own bodies. There is simply no way that Beslan can be blamed on Russian anti-terrorist forces. As for Nord-Ost, this is one of the most successful hostage rescue operation in history: about 900 hostages are taken by about 45 terrorists. As a result of the operation, all of the civilians are freed, all of the terrorists are killed and all the anti-terrorist troops survived. Not a single bomb was detonated. However, the tragedy happened after the operation when the medical services simply did not have enough manpower to revive the freed hostages, some of whom even died in buses on the way to medical care. In theory, every single one of these hostages had undergone a full anesthesia (without being intubated) and every single one of them needed to be revived by a medical team. In their worst nightmares the Russian anti-terrorist forces had never expected to deal with such a huge number of civilians needing immediate specialized medical care. The civilian emergency medical response units were completely overwhelmed and did not even know what gas had been used. As a result, 130 hostages died, or about 15% of the hostages. Had the Russians not decided to use gas the most likely casualty figure would have been well over 500 if not more. That is hardly what I would call a failure of the entire operation, including the civilian support. In terms of pure anti-terrorist operation is probably the most successful hostage liberation operation in history. Let me end this sidebar with a simple question: when is the last time that any anti-terrorist force in the West had to deal with a situation involving over 1000 hostages taken by a large number of ruthless military-trained terrorists?]

If one is absolutely determined to assess the Russian record on special operations I would point to the

capture of the Ruzyne International Airport in Prague in 1968, the storming of the Tajbeg Palace in Afghanistan in 1979 and, of course, the Russian operation to seize Crimea in 2014. But, again, there is no logical need to prove that Russian can do it well/better to assert that Americans can’t.

Now let’s turn to the issue of a possible war between Iran and the United States.

ORDER IT NOW

The dumbest possible way to evaluate the possible outcomes of a US attack on Iran would be to do compare all the technologies available to both countries and come to some kind of conclusion. For an example of that kind of nonsense, check out this typical article. Generally, the obsession with technology is a typical American pathology which is a direct result of fighting overseas wars against vastly out-gunned enemies. I call that the engineer’s view of war, as opposed to the soldier’s view. That is not to say that technology does not matter, it does, but tactics, operations and strategy matter a whole lot more. For example, while it is true that a modern M1A2 Abrams is vastly superior to an old Soviet T-55, there are circumstances (high mountains, forests) where the T-55, properly engaged, could be a much better tank. Likewise, putatively outdated WWII anti-tank guns can be used with devastating effect on modern APC just as outdated air defense guns can by turned into absolutely terrifying assault fire support vehicles.

In the case of the US attack on Iran, only a total ignoramus would suppose that as soon as the Iranians detect the US attack they would scramble their mostly dated air force to try to achieve air superiority or that they would hope to stop the US attack using their air-defenses. Let me remind everybody here that Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?

Because generally the American way of war doesn’t really work. What do I mean by “American way of war”? Using airstrikes and missile attacks to degrade the enemy’s capabilities to such a degree that it forces him to surrender. This was tried against the Serbian military in Kosovo and resulted in an abject failure: the Serbian forces survived the 78 days of massive NATO bombing completely unscathed (a few MBTs and APCs were lost, that’s about it). When that failure became apparent to the NATO commanders they did what the US military always does and turned against the civilian Serbian population in retaliation (same as the Israelis in Lebanon, of course) while offering Milosevic a deal: you surrender and we leave you in power. He accepted and ordered the Serbian military out of Kosovo. This was a spectacular political success for NATO, but in purely military terms, this was a disaster (well-concealed from the western public opinion courtesy of the best propaganda machine in history).

In one case only once did that American way of war really work as advertised: during the first Gulf War. And there is a good reason for that.

During the Cold War US force planners and strategist had developed a number of concepts to prepare for a war in Europe against the Soviet Union. Such concepts included the AirLand Battle doctrine or the Follow-on-Forces Attack (FOFA) which I shall not discuss in detail here, but which all placed a heavy emphasis on long-range reconnaissance-strikes systems and the use of air forces to defeat an assumed Soviet conventional superiority, especially in armor. I believe that these were fundamentally sound doctrines which could have been used effectively in the European theater. By the time Iraq invaded Kuwait, the USA had honed these concepts to quasi-perfection and the US armed forces were well trained in applying them. Saddam Hussein then committed a series of unforgivable mistakes the worst one being to give the USA many months to deploy into the KSA (this blatantly contradicts Soviet military doctrine which tells me that Saddam Hussein did not listen to this Soviet-trained generals or that these generals were afraid to speak up).

Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA. Well, he wasn’t. In fact, the way the Iraqis prepared for a US attack was a dream come true for US force planners and analysts because Saddam gave them the absolutely perfect target: large armored formations deployed in a desert with no air cover. The US, who for years had prepared to fight a much more sophisticated Soviet conventional military in the complex central European terrain (“Mischgelende” forests, many villages and town, rapid streams, steep hills and riverbanks, etc.) could simply not believe their luck: the Iraqis deployed in the worst possible manner making them an ideal target, much easier in fact that what was practiced for in US desert trainings. The result was predictable, the USA simply crushed the Iraqis and almost took no casualties.

Guess who observed that from right across the border with rapt attention?
The Iranians, of course.

If anybody seriously believes that the Iranians will prepare for a US attack by trying to out-American the Americans I have a few bridges to sell to them.

What Iranians, and Hezbollah, perfectly understood is that the key to prevail against the USA is to deny them the American way of war and to impose them a type of warfare they absolutely loathe. We can call that the Iranian way of war. Here are a few of its key components:

1) Assume that the American will establish air supremacy in 24 hours or less and deny them any lucrative targets. Sounds simple, but it is not. This requires a number of steps which can take years to implement including, but not limited to, concealing, hardening and deeply burying the most valuable civilian and military assets, creating an highly redundant network of communication and prepare for semi-autonomous operations when communications fail, creating a country-wide system of local civilian-military cooperation aimed at the survivability of essential government services including law and order, have procedures in place to compensate for the disruption of energy distribution and the destruction of key transportation nodes, etc. It might be my Swiss training speaking here, but I would assume that over the past 30 years the Iranians have dug thousands of miles of underground tunnels and command posts which allows the country to literally “go under” for as long as is needed.

2) Develop a number of key advanced technologies such as GPS-spoofing, computer network penetration and disruption, electronic counter-measures warfare, advanced mine warfare, small boat operations and, of course, missile strikes not to deny the US forces any portion of the Iranian territory, but to dramatically increase the risks and costs of US operations. This is were a limited number of advanced air defense systems can make a critical difference, especially if successfully concealed.

3) Engage in “horizontal escalation”: rather than wasting efforts in trying to shoot down US aircraft, use missile strikes to destroy US airfields (and ports) in the region. That is, by the way, official Iranian doctrine. Or strike at US forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. Target Israel or, even better, the Saudi regime. Force the US Navy to either engage in brown-water or, at most, green-water operations (here the Russian Kilo-class subs will excel) or force them to move back and shut down the Strait of Hormuz (the US Navy hates brown and green water operations, and for good reason, the USN is a blue-water navy par excellence) and the Americans are acutely aware of what happened to the US-built Israeli Sa’ar 5-class corvette when it got hit by Hezbollah fired Chinese-built C-802 missile.

4) Play the time card: time is always against the US military as the expectation is a short, easy war, with as little as casualties as possible and then a quick “out”. The Israelis ran out of steam in 33 days, NATO in 78 – so plan for at least a 12 month long conflict. Western forces have no staying power, let them hope for a “quickie” and then see how they react when it ain’t happening.

5) Use the traditional American sense of superiority and condescension for “sand niggers”or “hajis” and don’t bother trying to intimidate them. Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel. I find the notion of using US Neocons to make the US get rid of Saddam Hussein and basically hand over Iraq to Iran nothing short of pure genius. This is, of course, why it is never mentioned in western sources :-)

6) Force the Americans to present you more targets: the more US forces are deployed near Iran, the more targets they offer for Iranian counter-attacks and the more they get politically bogged-down (as shown by the recent Iraqi threat to revoke visas for US servicemen in Iraq in response to Trump temporary visa-ban; the threat is empty, but clearly nobody in the White House or Foggy Bottom ever considered such an option). Basically, being being everywhere CENCTOM forces are hated everywhere.

The above are just a few examples from a long list of things the Iranians can do to respond to a US attack on Iran. We can expect the Iranians to come up with a much longer and far more creative list. By the way, there is nothing new or original in the list I made above, and the Americans are quite aware of it. There is a reason why even though the US has come as close as being hours away from striking at Iran they always backed down at the last second. So we have that endless tug-of-war: the US politicians (who believe their own propaganda) want to strike Iran, while US military specialists (who know better than to believe their own propaganda) constantly try to prevent such an attack. I want to mention Admiral William Fallon here, a true hero and patriot, who bluntly declared about a possible attack on Iran “not on my watch” in direct defiance of his political superiors. I hope that one day his service to his country in a very difficult situation will be finally recognized.

More more thing: Israel and the other regional powers. They are basically the equivalent of the vegetables served in a steak house: decoration. Just as NATO is a pretend force, so is the IDF and all the rest of the locals, including the Saudis, at least compared to Iran and Hezbollah. Yes, sure, they spend a lot of money, purchase expensive systems, but should a war break out, the Americans will be carrying 90%+ of the burden of real warfare, as opposed to politically correct coalition-building. Iran is a very large country with a complex geography, and the only ones who have to kind of power-projection capabilities to strike at Iran other than symbolically are the Americans. Of course, I am quite sure that should the US strike at Iran the Israelis will feel obliged to strike at some putatively nuclear target, return home and declare yet victory of the “invincible Tsahal”. But to the extend that Iran will be meaningfully hurt, it will be by the US, not Israel.

So does that mean that Iran would come unscathed from a US attack? Absolutely not. What I expect the Americans to do is what they have always done: engage in the mass murder of civilians in retaliation for their military failures. I know that this will, yet again, offend some doubleplusgoodthinking patriots, but massacring civilians is an American tradition dating from the very foundation of the United States. Anybody doubting that ought to read the superb book by John Grenier (USAF Ret.) entitled “The First Way of War 1607-1814: American War Making on the Frontier” which explains in exquisite detail how the US anti-civilian terror operations doctrine was developed over the centuries. This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”. And this is what they did in Iraq and Serbia and what the Israelis did in Lebanon. And this is exactly what we should expect will happen in Iran. At least, this is the worst case scenario. There are really fundamentally two basic options for a US attack on Iran and I outlined them in my 2007 article about Iranian asymmetrical response options:

Broadly speaking, we see the Neocon Empire has having two options in an attack on Iran:

  1. A short, limited, attack on some Iranian nuclear and government installations. The goals of that kind of attack would be solely political: to appear to have “done something”, give the despondent Americans and Israelis some flags to wave, to “show resolve” and “send a firm message” – the kind of State Department nonsense. If lucky, they could hope to kill some Iranian leaders (although what exactly that would achieve is anyone’s guess). Lastly, it would punish the Iranians for their “bad behavior”.

  2. ORDER IT NOW

    A more significant military attack, which could not be limited to an air campaign and one which would have to include at least some insertion of ground forces. That would be similar to the strategy outlined in my How they might do it article. The goal of this option would be radically different from the first one: “to punish the Iranian population for its support of ‘the Mullahs’ (as the expression goes in the USA) via the ballot box. This is exactly the same logic which brought the Israelis to hammer all of Lebanon with bombs, missiles and mines – the same logic by which they killed over 500 people in Gaza – the same logic by which the U.S. bombed all of Serbia and Montenegro and the same logic which explains the bizarre embargo of Cuba. The message here is: if you support the bad guys, you will pay for it.”

The option I discussed today is the 2nd one, because this is the one which would get most people killed. But make no mistake, since neither one of these options would result in anything remotely resembling a victory (this is a political concept defining an achieved political objective) one would have to conclude that both of these options would result in failure and defeat. Such an attack would also seal the end of the US political role in the Middle-East unless, of course, being a despised elephant in a porcelain store is considered a “role”. But make no mistake, even if the Iranian casualty figures go in the hundred of thousands, or even over a million like in Iraq, the Iranians will not surrender and they will prevail. For one thing, terrorizing civilians has never worked. Genocide can be a much more viable option, but there are too many Iranians to do that and they are too well dug-in in their country to contemplate such an option (sorry, Israelis, even nuking Iran will not result in a “victory” of any kind). The Iranians have been at it for, what, 3000-9000 years (depending on how you count) and they will not be subdued, submitted or defeated with 200 or 70 year old states, or by an AngloZionist Empire in terminal decline.

I suspect that by now quite a few readers will be thoroughly irritated with me. So what better way is there for me to end this discussion than by adding religion to the mix? Yes, let’s do that!

Most Iranian are Shia, that is well known. But what is less well-known is one of the key motto’s of the Shia which, I believe, beautifully expresses one of the key features of the Shia ethos, is: “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala”. You can find an explanation of this phrase here. It basically expresses the willingness to die for the truth at any time and in any place. Millions of Iranians, even those not necessarily very pious, have been raised with this determination to fight and resist, at any cost. And now think of Donald Trump or General “Mad Dog” Mattis and try to imagine how hollow and grotesque they and their threats look to their Iranian counterparts.

Should I write an analysis of Chinese response options to a US attack? Nah – let’s just say that if the US doesn’t have what it takes to prevail over Iran, an attack on China would be simply suicidal.

Next week, alas, I will probably have to turn back to the dramatic events in the Ukraine.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Iran 
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  1. […] Written by TheSaker; Originally appeared at TheUnzReview […]

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  2. All is great except 1 forgotten thing: there are no “Iranians”. Iranians is a bunch of various religion sects and ethnicities, every one of them will go their own way, when central gvmnt will lose the ability to forcing them to be to together. Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives, same with Kurds and many other groups will do the same. Iran is crazy quilt, where very “iranians” or we batter call em “persians” are only 60% of Iran population. Even their shia brotherhood is virtual, because their ethnic and language differencies are much deeper.

    So all that US will need to do with Iran is to bomb out central gvmnt, ethnic, language and religoius minorities will do the rest.

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    • Replies: @5371
    The falsehood of this was seen, for example, in the Iran-Iraq war, when the Arabs of Khuzestan remained loyal to Iran.
    , @SmoothieX12

    Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives
     
    This, certainly, can not be dismissed out of hand but most likely outcome will be (in case of US air campaign against Iran) an exodus of Iranian Azeri civilians to Azerbaijan proper. This may create, depending on the intensity of air campaign, a very significant flow of civilians handling of whom may become beyond the capabilities of Azerbaijan government. The whole new dynamics may appear then.
    , @MEexpert
    "Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives, same with Kurds and many other groups will do the same."

    For your information Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an Azeri. So much for Azeris running from the battle.
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  3. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    US and Iran went to war 30 years ago. It lasted exactly one day. Iranians ran away from Iraq too soon afterwards. Iran is just as weak now as it was 30 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Praying_Mantis

    The next war will last 1 day

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    • Replies: @MEexpert

    US and Iran went to war 30 years ago. It lasted exactly one day. Iranians ran away from Iraq too soon afterwards. Iran is just as weak now as it was 30 years ago.
     
    As George W. Bush will say "bring them on." Keep this mind set and you will have a surprise of your life coming. I hope the US military commanders are not as dumb as that.
    , @DannyMarcus
    Well, let us say the US won the war with Iran several times over. Why are Americans then making so much fuss over Iran now?
  4. The Americans have always preferred fighting civilians than regular army. In 1941-1944 while they were “fighting” the brave German civilians via endless air campaigns, the Red Army only had to deal with the cowardly Wehrmacht.

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  5. A very good, if harsh, critique of US political deployment of its military forces. However:

    He accepted and ordered the Serbian military out of Kosovo. This was a spectacular political success for NATO, but in purely military terms, this was a disaster

    On the contrary, this is far better viewed as a limited military success combined with an overwhelming political victory (and I speak as someone who first became really alienated from US/UK leadership as a result of bitter personal opposition to the Kosovo war).

    In military terms, the objective was to terrorise the Serbs into submission to US/EU policy goals. Objective achieved, with trivial losses. That’s a military success, even if the destruction caused was not as significant as US military planners hoped for, not a failure of any kind. The fact is that even if the Yugoslavs could hide military assets and limit the US military’s freedom to roam their skies to some extent, they could neither prevent the US military from hitting targets at will nor inflict significant casualties in them whilst they were doing so.

    You can argue about what might have happened if Milosevic had not been stabbed in the back by the Russians, or had not been so naïve as to strike a deal with the US and its satellite states which they had no intention of keeping, but the fact is that never happened, so we never needed to find out whether the seeming bluff about inserting substantial ground forces to support the separatist KLA terrorists on the ground was in fact a bluff or not.

    And this terminological disagreement is significant in terms of the overall assessment of the effectiveness of US forces, which on their own terms are both far more effective than Saker implies here, and also profoundly flawed in many ways, some of which he has described.

    But overall, the suggestion that an attack on Iran would result almost inevitably in a disaster for the US regime seems unquestionable, and many high profile military and political figures in both the west and Israel who are otherwise very inclined to throw US sphere military might around in interventionist wars of aggression have drawn back from that policy as a result. Fundamentally, the reason for believing this is that the assumptions required to anticipate a US success – a meek Iranian surrender, an Iranian “uprising against the mullahs”, the US sphere countries acquiring the political will to inflict very sustained and bloody destruction on Iran – are simply too implausible for any but the most abject victim of the US sphere’s own propaganda to take seriously, absent a fundamental change in the strategic context.

    What change in the strategic context could make a “success” more plausible? Well, a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 type incident that generated the will required to give a US President and the leaders of US satellite states political cover for an unrestrained use of firepower against Iranian civilians of the kind seen in the slaughter bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan would do the job. But it would be foolhardy of the Iranians to offer such a pretext, so it will never happen, of course…….

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  6. Wanna drop some bunker-busters on Iranian nuke facilities or even strike a nuke over Persia? Well, be my guest “Strangelove twins” (Mattis/Flynn)! All the region (most of the Gulf as far as Israel) will be then contaminated with radioactivity, thanks to frequent siroccos and other dust storms that engulf most this part of the world.
    Therefore, the “nuke option” is or should be off the table as it would be tantamount to shot oneself in the foot.

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    • Replies: @Wonky
    Mil planners suffer from compartmentalized thinking. Annual dust storms from Africa bringing presents of DU dropped on Libya to beef producing Texas! US beef consumers have had some uranium with that beef since then.

    DU dropped in ME found even in UK!
    http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/weapons_poison_europe.html
    U.S. WEAPONS POISON EUROPE

    RADIATION FROM IRAQ WAR DETECTED IN UK ATMOSPHERE

    There is a reason why rise of pancreatic cancer even among young Saudis! Saudis appear so far to be only ones in region collecting records collecting records, so lets assume cancer rising in other Gulf state countries as well. Mil planners know zero about how far and wide DU can go via air currents!

  7. Another factor that makes Iran tougher than the United States is its relative ethnic homogeneity. Practically every living Iranian is a blood relative, no matter how distant, to every other Iranian. Yes, there are a few Persian Jews, Baluchi’s and Azerbajanis mixed with the population, but those are still united in their hatred of the Great Satan. Americans, in contrast, are factionalized in dozens of ways, especially along political, religious, ethnic and regional lines.

    The Red States would vaporize the Blue States if they could, and the Tea Baggers would have at Hillary’s “Resistance” forces in hand-to-hand combat if it didn’t mean missing prime time television viewing. With regard to ethnicity, though embattled whites have intermarried and consolidated from pre-WWII feuds they brought over from Europe, the divide between white and non-white, native Anglo and immigrant DP’s, both legal and illegal, has only intensified and been brought to a head by Trump’s executive orders on immigrant travel bans, with half the citizenry wanting to gun down any refugees at the border and the other half wanting to open the borders to anyone with the wherewithall to reach our shores. Meanwhile, the multitude of local police forces oppress the poor and minorities, and the federal government spies on everyone, promising anyone swift “justice” if you say or do anything not acceptably “patriotic,” especially if you are an employee of that same federal government (i.e., whistleblowers).

    All these people are NOT going to pull together to subjugate foreigners half way around the world in their own house. They are certainly not going to make a major sacrifice of blood and fortune in an extended slog as would be necessary to bring down Iran, Russia or China. Our government can force us to do so at the barrel of a gun, as they did during the war in Vietnam, but is the regime in Washington ready for the same consequences once again? I would guess NOT, unless their object is decimation of the population, a thinning of the herd to ensure a more pliable citizenry in the planned new Ing-Soc.

    Unless we are ready to nuke Iran and kill every “raghead” there out of shear spite, I expect that Saker is correct and America will simply lose face in yet another criminal war of choice and aggression should we invade Iran. Maybe even America’s vassals in Europe will finally turn on their tyrannical hegemon. Does the American Deep State really want to risk that? Or, do they think they have been “winning” throughout the blood bath they have imposed on the Middle East, the Balkans and Ukraine? Who in this country, besides the MIC and its puppet politicians, feels like a winner for all the slaughter? Personally, I’m just not feeling the vibes…

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  8. Because generally the American way of war doesn’t really work. What do I mean by “American way of war”? Using airstrikes and missile attacks to degrade the enemy’s capabilities to such a degree that it forces him to surrender.

    The problem with this argument, and with the general criticism of the US military as ineffective based upon results, is that we have no real examples of the modern (post-WW2/Korea) US military being used directly against anything that could be described as a peer competitor. The closest was Iraq in the Gulf wars, but that’s a very poor case for the reasons Saker has gone into. Otherwise, such wars as there have been have either been walkovers against comedy opponents such as Grenada or Panama, or primarily counter-insurgency actions where political, ideological and internal security issues are to the fore rather than military.

    There are reasons to think that the US military might have performed fine in a 1980s war against a Soviet tank assault on western Europe, but we will never be able to do more than speculate about that.

    Much of the “US military is utterly useless and hasn’t won a real war since WW2″ commentary reads as just the flipside of all the rah rah “US military is number one” nonsense we get from US militarists.

    The dumbest possible way to evaluate the possible outcomes of a US attack on Iran would be to do compare all the technologies available to both countries and come to some kind of conclusion.

    This is a fair criticism of a lot of the aforementioned rah rah nonsense I referred to above, but on the other hand it actually is pretty hard to ignore a carrier battle group in warfare, and the sheer quantity of firepower available to the US, in terms of destructive power, range and accuracy of delivery and recon intel, is simply unprecedented (as one would expect of a superpower which has spent nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military for decades). For sure there are many ways to mitigate the catastrophic advantage this gives to the US (the Yugoslavs did a pretty good job with the means to hand) and it’s not an easy tool to apply in counter-insurgency warfare or in limited wars where the political will is not there to inflict significant collateral damage, but as a military factor it cannot just be swept way as easily as Saker does here.

    It sounds cool to airily dismiss technologies and assets the way Saker does, and certainly many make the mistake of over-emphasising the importance of glittery militarist baubles, but in the end it’s just too facile if you are looking to assess military capabilities outside of the political contexts in which they happen to have been used so far. The fact is that the political context can change fundamentally, overnight, as it did between December 6th and 7th 1941, or between 11th and 12 September 2001.

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    • Replies: @SmoothieX12

    This is a fair criticism of a lot of the aforementioned rah rah nonsense I referred to above, but on the other hand it actually is pretty hard to ignore a carrier battle group in warfare, and the sheer quantity of firepower available to the US, in terms of destructive power, range and accuracy of delivery and recon intel, is simply unprecedented (as one would expect of a superpower which has spent nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military for decades).
     
    Realistically, the only means Iran has for "dealing" with US navy's CBG are its three Russian-build Kilo-class SSK. I will immediately say: the quality of Iranian sub crews is not very high. I doubt that these subs will be effective against, presumably, massive ASW screen US Navy will deploy. The other factor, of course, are land-based anti-shipping missiles. For the most part those are of Chinese-design but I doubt that US CBGs will deploy within the range. How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess. Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.
  9. Very informative article. Finally someone that understands how things might play out. I would like to mention the largest most expensive war game ever Millennium Challenge 2002 which pitted US forces (Blue Team) against a nameless foe (Red Team) for the purpose of providing strategies and tactics of a similar future conflict. The outcome was a major butt-kicking of the Blue Team (US forces) and became a classic Red Team lesson in thinking outside the box. Just thought I would mention that your article describes similar components.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

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  10. @Alexpopoff
    All is great except 1 forgotten thing: there are no "Iranians". Iranians is a bunch of various religion sects and ethnicities, every one of them will go their own way, when central gvmnt will lose the ability to forcing them to be to together. Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives, same with Kurds and many other groups will do the same. Iran is crazy quilt, where very "iranians" or we batter call em "persians" are only 60% of Iran population. Even their shia brotherhood is virtual, because their ethnic and language differencies are much deeper.

    So all that US will need to do with Iran is to bomb out central gvmnt, ethnic, language and religoius minorities will do the rest.

    The falsehood of this was seen, for example, in the Iran-Iraq war, when the Arabs of Khuzestan remained loyal to Iran.

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  11. Both Americans and Israelis get mighty unsettled when they actually start to take losses in an engagement – it makes them scared and it makes them vindictive: it’s not supposed to happen. Remember the reprisals that occurred when, I think, thirteen Israelis got killed in their first major Gaza incursion? Remember what triggered Falujah? The huge Achilles heel of both is that they simply cannot take losses and as soon as they start taking them, they back off and maybe saturate the area with cluster-bomblets or demolish populated city blocks to get one sniper. Troops that can return to base at the end of the day for video games and a choice between Burger King or McDonalds don’t do so well against an enemy which has been waiting for them all night in freezing dugouts.

    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I’d predict that the IDF would reply with nukes – ironical when you consider this whole thing heated up over the possibility that Iran might obtain them. I am not so sure how many nukes the Iranians could take before folding – I suspect the Israelis have more than enough.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I’d predict that the IDF would reply with nukes
     
    Not a chance, I'd say. The taboo against nuclear weapons is too strong, and the image of righteous victim is too important to Israel to end it so irrevocably and for such a trivial issue as a few conventionally armed missiles. The Israelis aren't quite that stupid (or at least, most of the ones making the decisions aren't).

    There were some noises recently in the US towards considering trying to normalise small nuke use, I seem to remember, but I think the Israelis would want to make sure the Yanks take the opprobrium for that for them, before they break the taboo themselves.
    , @Wally
    And Iran would respond with biological & chemical weapons, which I'm sure they have plenty of.
    They're inexpensive, easy to make & deploy.
    , @Stephen Gardner
    What exactly does "folding" mean? Do you envision some form of formal capitulation or do you mean the typical failed state outcome that has been America's way of winning for the last few wars?
    , @DannyO
    The problem with nukes for the entity - is that no matter how many they have it will never be enough. Any nuclear strike by the idf against Iran would mean the complete destruction of the zionists. Not just in the ME - but across the globe. The gloves would be off and revenge squads (not fake anglo/zionist show terrorists) would mercilessly go after all zionist targets and individuals. Security forces would be overwhelmed and how many goyims would be prepared to die defending globalists is questionable.
    That is after the Iranians completely carpet bomb all entity cities and population centres with a continuous unstoppable barrage of ballistic missiles. The missiles would keep coming - just like in Lebanon in 2006.
    The problem for the anglo/zionists - how long they will keep this in perspective is questionable - is that once started the war will not just stop. Even if the Mullahs in Tehran wanted to stop it - they would no longer be able to control the patriotic will and subsquent lust for revenge across not just the military but the civilian population.
    The only reason ww2 ended was because the Wehrmacht was ground into oblivion by the Red Army. The US is not the Red Army and certainly the holiday crowd occupying Palestine is even further from that harsh reality. A reality that would be made apparent to the world with a nuclear detonation on Iranian soil. It would be all or nothing at that point.
  12. In reading this, I understand that for the Saker, we are back on the road to war. I agree with him.
    Trump’s election gaves us some hope to avoid the war but the threat is back. It is sad.
    At war, things are never happening as forecast. The US people should not trust those who claim that the next war will be a nice walk. In the first world war, both the French and the Germans went to war singing and it ended as a nightmare for both.
    People should realized that the ennemy is not usually the one your government is pointing at. The real ennemy is your government which is lying to you, robbing you and will get you killed. If there is any benefit in that war, it will not be for you or your children but for those who are paying your government with the money made by selling those dreadful weapons.

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  13. @Alexpopoff
    All is great except 1 forgotten thing: there are no "Iranians". Iranians is a bunch of various religion sects and ethnicities, every one of them will go their own way, when central gvmnt will lose the ability to forcing them to be to together. Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives, same with Kurds and many other groups will do the same. Iran is crazy quilt, where very "iranians" or we batter call em "persians" are only 60% of Iran population. Even their shia brotherhood is virtual, because their ethnic and language differencies are much deeper.

    So all that US will need to do with Iran is to bomb out central gvmnt, ethnic, language and religoius minorities will do the rest.

    Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives

    This, certainly, can not be dismissed out of hand but most likely outcome will be (in case of US air campaign against Iran) an exodus of Iranian Azeri civilians to Azerbaijan proper. This may create, depending on the intensity of air campaign, a very significant flow of civilians handling of whom may become beyond the capabilities of Azerbaijan government. The whole new dynamics may appear then.

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  14. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    No need to get overly defensive about whose special forces are better. The American propaganda machine has always been devoted to nitpicking and making anything Russian seem third rate. It’s hard to see how the Americans could have done any better in the mentioned episodes but facts don’t matter; rather it’s the twist the public relations machine can put on them is what they’re concerned about. Of course reality tends to break through but only when it starts to get glaringly obvious as when 100-150 US soldiers were dying weekly in Vietnam. Then people started asking what was really going on and how did we get sucked into that. Unfortunately reality tends to sink in after things have gone downhill and-guess what-the original deep thinkers who got everyone into the mess by claiming the troops would be home by Christmas or that it would be a cakewalk are shown to have been charlatans who simply move on to other things leaving everyone else holding the bag. History is full of gung-ho incompetence.
    The fallback position of the US, as pointed out, is mass terror, mainly inflicted from the sky. It’s terrorism but one supposes that wholesale terrorism by a state really isn’t called that but polite euphemisms are preferred such as ‘shock and awe’, ‘collateral damage’, and the like. I suppose one should call a spade a spade but there’s so many mental barriers to doing so that a person finds it a frustrating experience. One doesn’t want to be called unpatriotic or be accused of being a paid ‘stooge’ of Putin or of any other foreign country.

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  15. @Randal

    Because generally the American way of war doesn’t really work. What do I mean by “American way of war”? Using airstrikes and missile attacks to degrade the enemy’s capabilities to such a degree that it forces him to surrender.
     
    The problem with this argument, and with the general criticism of the US military as ineffective based upon results, is that we have no real examples of the modern (post-WW2/Korea) US military being used directly against anything that could be described as a peer competitor. The closest was Iraq in the Gulf wars, but that's a very poor case for the reasons Saker has gone into. Otherwise, such wars as there have been have either been walkovers against comedy opponents such as Grenada or Panama, or primarily counter-insurgency actions where political, ideological and internal security issues are to the fore rather than military.

    There are reasons to think that the US military might have performed fine in a 1980s war against a Soviet tank assault on western Europe, but we will never be able to do more than speculate about that.

    Much of the "US military is utterly useless and hasn't won a real war since WW2" commentary reads as just the flipside of all the rah rah "US military is number one" nonsense we get from US militarists.

    The dumbest possible way to evaluate the possible outcomes of a US attack on Iran would be to do compare all the technologies available to both countries and come to some kind of conclusion.
     
    This is a fair criticism of a lot of the aforementioned rah rah nonsense I referred to above, but on the other hand it actually is pretty hard to ignore a carrier battle group in warfare, and the sheer quantity of firepower available to the US, in terms of destructive power, range and accuracy of delivery and recon intel, is simply unprecedented (as one would expect of a superpower which has spent nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military for decades). For sure there are many ways to mitigate the catastrophic advantage this gives to the US (the Yugoslavs did a pretty good job with the means to hand) and it's not an easy tool to apply in counter-insurgency warfare or in limited wars where the political will is not there to inflict significant collateral damage, but as a military factor it cannot just be swept way as easily as Saker does here.

    It sounds cool to airily dismiss technologies and assets the way Saker does, and certainly many make the mistake of over-emphasising the importance of glittery militarist baubles, but in the end it's just too facile if you are looking to assess military capabilities outside of the political contexts in which they happen to have been used so far. The fact is that the political context can change fundamentally, overnight, as it did between December 6th and 7th 1941, or between 11th and 12 September 2001.

    This is a fair criticism of a lot of the aforementioned rah rah nonsense I referred to above, but on the other hand it actually is pretty hard to ignore a carrier battle group in warfare, and the sheer quantity of firepower available to the US, in terms of destructive power, range and accuracy of delivery and recon intel, is simply unprecedented (as one would expect of a superpower which has spent nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military for decades).

    Realistically, the only means Iran has for “dealing” with US navy’s CBG are its three Russian-build Kilo-class SSK. I will immediately say: the quality of Iranian sub crews is not very high. I doubt that these subs will be effective against, presumably, massive ASW screen US Navy will deploy. The other factor, of course, are land-based anti-shipping missiles. For the most part those are of Chinese-design but I doubt that US CBGs will deploy within the range. How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess. Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess.
     
    As you imply, it will probably mostly depend upon how the Yanks choose to deploy them. Low, is my feeling, unless the Americans are needlessly incautious or very unlucky.

    As for the subs, ASW is one of the areas where the US is very, very good (although it's also very hard to do perfectly).


    Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.
     
    Indeed. Exactly how colossal and in which directions depends a lot upon the circumstances, imo.

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event. If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.

    But as you say, in either case colossal ramifications.

    , @Vendetta
    Land-based anti-ship missiles on trucks or mobile launchers are one weapon that won't be easily wiped out from the air alone.

    I expect the US would have to send in the Marines to the Iranian coast to try and root out these concealed launchers if it was serious about asserting control over the Persian Gulf.

    Of course what starts out as a series of "surgical raids" will end up meeting Iranian ground forces and getting bogged down in a campaign to seize control of the entire Iranian coastline.

    And thus with their promises of a quick series of simple air strikes, the neocons will end up delivering us a land war in Asia.
  16. @macilrae
    Both Americans and Israelis get mighty unsettled when they actually start to take losses in an engagement - it makes them scared and it makes them vindictive: it's not supposed to happen. Remember the reprisals that occurred when, I think, thirteen Israelis got killed in their first major Gaza incursion? Remember what triggered Falujah? The huge Achilles heel of both is that they simply cannot take losses and as soon as they start taking them, they back off and maybe saturate the area with cluster-bomblets or demolish populated city blocks to get one sniper. Troops that can return to base at the end of the day for video games and a choice between Burger King or McDonalds don't do so well against an enemy which has been waiting for them all night in freezing dugouts.


    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I'd predict that the IDF would reply with nukes - ironical when you consider this whole thing heated up over the possibility that Iran might obtain them. I am not so sure how many nukes the Iranians could take before folding - I suspect the Israelis have more than enough.

    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I’d predict that the IDF would reply with nukes

    Not a chance, I’d say. The taboo against nuclear weapons is too strong, and the image of righteous victim is too important to Israel to end it so irrevocably and for such a trivial issue as a few conventionally armed missiles. The Israelis aren’t quite that stupid (or at least, most of the ones making the decisions aren’t).

    There were some noises recently in the US towards considering trying to normalise small nuke use, I seem to remember, but I think the Israelis would want to make sure the Yanks take the opprobrium for that for them, before they break the taboo themselves.

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    • Replies: @macilrae
    With all my heart and soul I hope you are right. But I suspect the Iranians could lob some pretty formidable ordinance into Israel's back yard - compared to what Hamas can manage and look at how they respond even to that.
    , @macilrae
    Were there not rumors that the Israelis threatened to use nukes when they started to lose in the Yom Kippur war? Probably just a threat to get the US to attend but, if so, it worked.
  17. @SmoothieX12

    This is a fair criticism of a lot of the aforementioned rah rah nonsense I referred to above, but on the other hand it actually is pretty hard to ignore a carrier battle group in warfare, and the sheer quantity of firepower available to the US, in terms of destructive power, range and accuracy of delivery and recon intel, is simply unprecedented (as one would expect of a superpower which has spent nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military for decades).
     
    Realistically, the only means Iran has for "dealing" with US navy's CBG are its three Russian-build Kilo-class SSK. I will immediately say: the quality of Iranian sub crews is not very high. I doubt that these subs will be effective against, presumably, massive ASW screen US Navy will deploy. The other factor, of course, are land-based anti-shipping missiles. For the most part those are of Chinese-design but I doubt that US CBGs will deploy within the range. How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess. Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.

    How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess.

    As you imply, it will probably mostly depend upon how the Yanks choose to deploy them. Low, is my feeling, unless the Americans are needlessly incautious or very unlucky.

    As for the subs, ASW is one of the areas where the US is very, very good (although it’s also very hard to do perfectly).

    Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.

    Indeed. Exactly how colossal and in which directions depends a lot upon the circumstances, imo.

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event. If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.

    But as you say, in either case colossal ramifications.

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    • Replies: @SmoothieX12

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event.
     
    Or Gulf Of Tonkin.

    If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.
     
    In case of Iran, one may (I don't say it will happen) expect a much less forgiving posture than Iraq, should there be any attempts to predeploy ground forces. The staging areas, unlike it was the case with Iraq, will be attacked national borders regardless. As per aircraft carrier, even the mission kill of a single US Navy's CVN will create a full blown political crisis in D.C. US Navy's aircraft carriers are more than just the foundation of US power projection capability, they are a national symbol. Psychological impact of a mission loss, let alone if one of the CVNs is sunk will be enormous. Use of nuclear weapons in retaliation could authorized. This is the point which many people fail to understand--US military-political psyche is very fragile in a sense that any conventional loss on a large scale, and disabling even one CVN is a major naval feat for a country such as Iran, and FROM Iran is a gigantic humiliation, that it may initiate the use of nukes. It is totally within the realm of not only possible but robustly probable. This was the case in Korea, which led to Truman dismissal of MacArthur whose hands itched to use nukes, this was the case with Vietnam where the use of nukes was considered. The escalation to threshold with Iran is, of course, very different that it may have been, say, with Russia or China. I doubt Iran has tactical nukes, forget strategic. The main question in this case is: does Iran have P-800 Oniks missiles, especially not in export variant;-)
  18. @Randal

    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I’d predict that the IDF would reply with nukes
     
    Not a chance, I'd say. The taboo against nuclear weapons is too strong, and the image of righteous victim is too important to Israel to end it so irrevocably and for such a trivial issue as a few conventionally armed missiles. The Israelis aren't quite that stupid (or at least, most of the ones making the decisions aren't).

    There were some noises recently in the US towards considering trying to normalise small nuke use, I seem to remember, but I think the Israelis would want to make sure the Yanks take the opprobrium for that for them, before they break the taboo themselves.

    With all my heart and soul I hope you are right. But I suspect the Iranians could lob some pretty formidable ordinance into Israel’s back yard – compared to what Hamas can manage and look at how they respond even to that.

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  19. @Randal

    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I’d predict that the IDF would reply with nukes
     
    Not a chance, I'd say. The taboo against nuclear weapons is too strong, and the image of righteous victim is too important to Israel to end it so irrevocably and for such a trivial issue as a few conventionally armed missiles. The Israelis aren't quite that stupid (or at least, most of the ones making the decisions aren't).

    There were some noises recently in the US towards considering trying to normalise small nuke use, I seem to remember, but I think the Israelis would want to make sure the Yanks take the opprobrium for that for them, before they break the taboo themselves.

    Were there not rumors that the Israelis threatened to use nukes when they started to lose in the Yom Kippur war? Probably just a threat to get the US to attend but, if so, it worked.

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  20. This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”.

    That was partially true for the UK, not so much for the US, which focused on armaments factories and fuel depots.

    If not for the bombing campaign the German armaments production surge in 1943-44 would have been greater, its mechanized forces would have been more mobile, and the Western Allies and especially the USSR would have incurred greater casualties.

    Still why not score a cheap meaningless point against the Anglo-Zionists.

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    • Replies: @Antiwar7
    Fire bombing and later nuking Japanese cities? I do believe the Americans did that.

    And the Americans used carpet bombing in urban areas in Europe.

    Your reply is disingenuous at best.

    , @Antiwar7
    Sorry, I see you were only commenting about German cities, not Japanese. But I do think the American military has shown itself time and again to not shy away from attacking civilian targets, now, in the far past, and all times in between.

    That's probably true for most militaries when they're not winning. That's why I'm against all aggressive wars.
    , @animalogic
    Yes, the Americans engaged in what they - laughablely - called "precision bombing": which in reality ended looking like British "area bombing"....Strategic bombing (especially at the end of the war) did have some (very expensive in men & materials) utility.
    Just as importantly it was a political trade with the Russians for the long -- long "promised" "second front"...
    (Of course it also helped Russia by sucking away air resources to German cities)
    Naturally, there has been considerable debate for some time about whether the strategic air war in Europe was "worth it".
  21. In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran’s disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers – enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran’s naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don’t exclude that they’d do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

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    • Replies: @Vendetta
    This is actually where the Iranian speedboat swarms would be at their most useful, in interfering with US mine clearing operations.

    While they like to bluster about sailing up right up to US carrier squadrons, there's no way that's going to succeed unless the US Navy feeds one to to them by sailing it into a suicidal killbox. These boats have virtually nothing in the way of air defenses and are going to get massacred by aircraft if they try direct attack on a US carrier from anything other than point blank range.

    This bluster, however, may well be a misdirection to fool us about their intended uses of these swarms. The 107mm rockets and other light weapons they put on these speedboats, which would be mere nuisance weapons against a carrier, will be a rather more serious threat against small mine clearance vessels.

    Mine clearance is already a laborious and hazardous task on its own; throw in constant speedboat raids and it's going to become a far more difficult and time-consuming task (and time works in the Iranians' favor).

    The boats may well end up being massacred from the air anyway with little in 'tangible' results to show for it (in terms of actually sinking or damaging any enemy vessels). However, the intangible result of prolonging the mine clearing operations and thus the oil blockade would be well worth the sacrifice of a few hundred sailors as it is this, more likely than any battlefield success (like sinking US Navy ships), that would bring the war to an end on less than favorable terms for the Americans.

    Rather than throwing hundreds of these boats into an all-out assault on a carrier battle group, picture the Iranians keeping the vast majority of these boats hauled ashore and concealed outside of the major ports (and thus hidden from US airpower) and then slipping out with a dozen or two of these boats at a time to go and harass the US mine clearing vessels from different directions, in conjunction with squadrons of small drones to serve as distractions for US air patrols.

    The Iranians have enough of these boats (and the manufacturing capacity for them) to maintain such a strategy almost indefinitely; those boats can also be slipping out at night to toss a few additional mines overboard to maintain a mine threat in the Strait; no one's going to risk sailing loaded oil tankers through a Strait in which even a handful of mines are unaccounted for.

    Quite possibly this whole strategy may have already been foreseen by the US Navy (I make no claim to be a military genius of any sort) - it might have been the real unstated motive behind combining the conflicting roles of fast speedboat killer and mine clearance vessel onto a single platform in the LCS. Even if the vessel's design arose from well-founded strategic concerns, however, the execution of the concept has undoubtedly been botched. The LCS is not going to save us if this is indeed the real Iranian strategy.
    , @L.K
    "Knowing Iran, though, I don’t exclude that they’d do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv."

    Ha,ha... "Knowing Iran"?? WTF?? Ridiculous, being prejudiced against Iran, which you obviously are, is very different from "Knowing Iran".

    Your surname appears to be Jewish... maybe that is the source of your animosity towards Iran?
    , @Thirdeye

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast.
     
    I think one thing that gets overlooked is that disruption of the gulf oil trade would be not only a problem for the western economies but for the stability of KSA. KSA is full of people who tolerate Saudi rule just as long as the money's flowing. If the KSA economy, or maybe even military, were weakened by war, all bets would be off in the predominantly Shia northern oil patch.
    , @Randal

    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.
     
    A strategy that is a lot less effective on a world in which only an oil glut and resulting low oil prices is holding the lid on an explosion in US shale oil output, than it might have been a few years ago.

    Nevertheless, the pain will likely be real (except for US shale oil investors and businesses, and military contractors and suppliers, and oil businesses and suppliers without significant Gulf interests, of course). But it only reinforces the point that the issue is largely one of political will on the part of the US regime, rather than military power as such, notwithstanding the inevitable interplay between the two. As is normally the case in relation to conflict between a superpower and an ordinary country, with the inevitable military mismatch.
    , @Anonymous
    This is incredibly nieve analysis.

    This isn't a video game Anatoly. If we couldn't bomb the Afganis into submission there is no way we will be able to bomb Iran back into the stone age.

    Once we fire the first missle, there will be a waiting game of who will break first. Do you seriously think an America that is so divided will put up with higher gas prices, rampant inflation, a crumbling economy, and US soldiers dying in foreign lands for no good reason? What about Trump seeing his support base evaporate when they realize he is just another establishment shill who is just putting Isreal first?

    Meanwhile Iran will be fighting for its very existence with nothing to lose.

    If Trump really wanted this war it was stupid for him to pick fights with Mexico and China at the same time. Does Trump not understand how divide and conquer works?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Such consideration of detail is very important but I partly agree with Randal about the effect of closing the Straits of Hormuz to oil transport. The US would, because of the dormant fracking revolutuon, not suffer enough from that to invalidate its calculations if they were otherwise sound.
    , @Lot

    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.
     
    I agree this is its "best" option if it wants to fight an unwinnable war, but it still isn't a very good option.

    Each and every year, the US uses less oil per $ of GDP. We are roughly at parity on oil production, exporting and importing low numbers mostly to match grades with refineries. Any oil price spike, however, and we'd become a major exporter, as we have a ton of production capacity that becomes viable in the 60-80 range, not to mention the SPR. Canada is much the same, it is far below capacity with tar sands, it is just not viable at current prices to increase production very quickly.

    It would be bad for Europe and Japan, which import a lot of oil. However their GDP/oil ratio is even better than ours, so the impact would again not be too extreme.
  22. @Randal

    How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess.
     
    As you imply, it will probably mostly depend upon how the Yanks choose to deploy them. Low, is my feeling, unless the Americans are needlessly incautious or very unlucky.

    As for the subs, ASW is one of the areas where the US is very, very good (although it's also very hard to do perfectly).


    Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.
     
    Indeed. Exactly how colossal and in which directions depends a lot upon the circumstances, imo.

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event. If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.

    But as you say, in either case colossal ramifications.

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event.

    Or Gulf Of Tonkin.

    If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.

    In case of Iran, one may (I don’t say it will happen) expect a much less forgiving posture than Iraq, should there be any attempts to predeploy ground forces. The staging areas, unlike it was the case with Iraq, will be attacked national borders regardless. As per aircraft carrier, even the mission kill of a single US Navy’s CVN will create a full blown political crisis in D.C. US Navy’s aircraft carriers are more than just the foundation of US power projection capability, they are a national symbol. Psychological impact of a mission loss, let alone if one of the CVNs is sunk will be enormous. Use of nuclear weapons in retaliation could authorized. This is the point which many people fail to understand–US military-political psyche is very fragile in a sense that any conventional loss on a large scale, and disabling even one CVN is a major naval feat for a country such as Iran, and FROM Iran is a gigantic humiliation, that it may initiate the use of nukes. It is totally within the realm of not only possible but robustly probable. This was the case in Korea, which led to Truman dismissal of MacArthur whose hands itched to use nukes, this was the case with Vietnam where the use of nukes was considered. The escalation to threshold with Iran is, of course, very different that it may have been, say, with Russia or China. I doubt Iran has tactical nukes, forget strategic. The main question in this case is: does Iran have P-800 Oniks missiles, especially not in export variant;-)

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    How would they hope to win a war against China if they can't afford to lose some carriers? I mean, if all else fails, we've expressed a willingness to destroy the entire satellite network above the world. The US would respond to that with nuclear war?
    , @Randal
    Of course, when you are dealing with longer range anti-ship weapons, the issue of finding the target accurately enough to launch looms a lot larger, especially in a environment where the opponent has complete air supremacy, very strong ASW capabilities and a hefty tech advantage.
    , @Sergey Krieger
    Smoothie, nobody is talking about Russia position and possible reaction to all this that's being discussed. What's your opinion? Iran is Russia neighbor so to speak and all this is supposed to happen along Russia borders including possibility of nuclear strikes.
  23. @SmoothieX12

    This is a fair criticism of a lot of the aforementioned rah rah nonsense I referred to above, but on the other hand it actually is pretty hard to ignore a carrier battle group in warfare, and the sheer quantity of firepower available to the US, in terms of destructive power, range and accuracy of delivery and recon intel, is simply unprecedented (as one would expect of a superpower which has spent nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military for decades).
     
    Realistically, the only means Iran has for "dealing" with US navy's CBG are its three Russian-build Kilo-class SSK. I will immediately say: the quality of Iranian sub crews is not very high. I doubt that these subs will be effective against, presumably, massive ASW screen US Navy will deploy. The other factor, of course, are land-based anti-shipping missiles. For the most part those are of Chinese-design but I doubt that US CBGs will deploy within the range. How high (or low) is the probability of Iran even damaging one of the CVNs is difficult to assess. Striking a carrier is more than just tactical or operational issue, it is political. Ramification of such a strike will be colossal.

    Land-based anti-ship missiles on trucks or mobile launchers are one weapon that won’t be easily wiped out from the air alone.

    I expect the US would have to send in the Marines to the Iranian coast to try and root out these concealed launchers if it was serious about asserting control over the Persian Gulf.

    Of course what starts out as a series of “surgical raids” will end up meeting Iranian ground forces and getting bogged down in a campaign to seize control of the entire Iranian coastline.

    And thus with their promises of a quick series of simple air strikes, the neocons will end up delivering us a land war in Asia.

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  24. @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    This is actually where the Iranian speedboat swarms would be at their most useful, in interfering with US mine clearing operations.

    While they like to bluster about sailing up right up to US carrier squadrons, there’s no way that’s going to succeed unless the US Navy feeds one to to them by sailing it into a suicidal killbox. These boats have virtually nothing in the way of air defenses and are going to get massacred by aircraft if they try direct attack on a US carrier from anything other than point blank range.

    This bluster, however, may well be a misdirection to fool us about their intended uses of these swarms. The 107mm rockets and other light weapons they put on these speedboats, which would be mere nuisance weapons against a carrier, will be a rather more serious threat against small mine clearance vessels.

    Mine clearance is already a laborious and hazardous task on its own; throw in constant speedboat raids and it’s going to become a far more difficult and time-consuming task (and time works in the Iranians’ favor).

    The boats may well end up being massacred from the air anyway with little in ‘tangible’ results to show for it (in terms of actually sinking or damaging any enemy vessels). However, the intangible result of prolonging the mine clearing operations and thus the oil blockade would be well worth the sacrifice of a few hundred sailors as it is this, more likely than any battlefield success (like sinking US Navy ships), that would bring the war to an end on less than favorable terms for the Americans.

    Rather than throwing hundreds of these boats into an all-out assault on a carrier battle group, picture the Iranians keeping the vast majority of these boats hauled ashore and concealed outside of the major ports (and thus hidden from US airpower) and then slipping out with a dozen or two of these boats at a time to go and harass the US mine clearing vessels from different directions, in conjunction with squadrons of small drones to serve as distractions for US air patrols.

    The Iranians have enough of these boats (and the manufacturing capacity for them) to maintain such a strategy almost indefinitely; those boats can also be slipping out at night to toss a few additional mines overboard to maintain a mine threat in the Strait; no one’s going to risk sailing loaded oil tankers through a Strait in which even a handful of mines are unaccounted for.

    Quite possibly this whole strategy may have already been foreseen by the US Navy (I make no claim to be a military genius of any sort) – it might have been the real unstated motive behind combining the conflicting roles of fast speedboat killer and mine clearance vessel onto a single platform in the LCS. Even if the vessel’s design arose from well-founded strategic concerns, however, the execution of the concept has undoubtedly been botched. The LCS is not going to save us if this is indeed the real Iranian strategy.

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  25. @SmoothieX12

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event.
     
    Or Gulf Of Tonkin.

    If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.
     
    In case of Iran, one may (I don't say it will happen) expect a much less forgiving posture than Iraq, should there be any attempts to predeploy ground forces. The staging areas, unlike it was the case with Iraq, will be attacked national borders regardless. As per aircraft carrier, even the mission kill of a single US Navy's CVN will create a full blown political crisis in D.C. US Navy's aircraft carriers are more than just the foundation of US power projection capability, they are a national symbol. Psychological impact of a mission loss, let alone if one of the CVNs is sunk will be enormous. Use of nuclear weapons in retaliation could authorized. This is the point which many people fail to understand--US military-political psyche is very fragile in a sense that any conventional loss on a large scale, and disabling even one CVN is a major naval feat for a country such as Iran, and FROM Iran is a gigantic humiliation, that it may initiate the use of nukes. It is totally within the realm of not only possible but robustly probable. This was the case in Korea, which led to Truman dismissal of MacArthur whose hands itched to use nukes, this was the case with Vietnam where the use of nukes was considered. The escalation to threshold with Iran is, of course, very different that it may have been, say, with Russia or China. I doubt Iran has tactical nukes, forget strategic. The main question in this case is: does Iran have P-800 Oniks missiles, especially not in export variant;-)

    How would they hope to win a war against China if they can’t afford to lose some carriers? I mean, if all else fails, we’ve expressed a willingness to destroy the entire satellite network above the world. The US would respond to that with nuclear war?

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    • Replies: @SmoothieX12

    How would they hope to win a war against China if they can’t afford to lose some carriers?
     
    1. US submarine force is world-class, at this stage and for a foreseeable future is much (I underscore--much) better than that of PLAN, despite PLAN's improvements. It is also larger. That spells huge problems for PLAN's surface component and its nuclear submarine component. SSKs are a separate matter.

    2. As I pointed out, escalation towards the threshold between US and Iran, and US and China will look vastly different. China is a nuclear power with full capability to reach lower 48. Ask yourself a question why China moved some of its Dong ICBMs closer to Russian border--away from US long range stand-off weapons and to a more convenient from the point of view of polar trajectories position. Deterrent 101.

    3. The issue of an enormous impact which the loss of a single CVN can have on political and military top in US is as old as Project 60, a tenure of Elmo Zumwalt as CNO in 1970-1074, and his team of experts including Admiral Stansfield Turner (later CIA Director). US Navy theoretically can lose some carriers in the naval war with PLAN, as long as it can claim a decisive victory in the whole confrontation. How probable it is--is a separate matter, in China US may encounter what it didn't encounter even in Vietnam, a first rate Chinese Air Force. Having even a single CVN damaged, let alone sunk, by Iran--it will be a PR, military and political catastrophe. A completely different from confrontation with China set of circumstances.
  26. Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA.

    Saddam Hussein got his clock cleaned by the Iranians in the 80s. The only reason Iraq survived that war at all was because of their liberal use of poison gas. No, the real reason Saddam invaded Kuwait, is because he was under the impression that Washington wouldn’t mind. US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, told Saddam that the US took no position on Arab vs. Arab disputes. Saddam (mis-)interpreted that as a green light. The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.

    Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel.

    C’mon, Saker! You know better than that. You know damn well that the neocons themselves fabricated the WMD nonsense in order to justify invading Iraq. Why? Look up ‘Oded Yinon’.

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    • Replies: @Thirdeye

    The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.
     
    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie's statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.

    The US knew that there was a real issue with Kuwait violating Iraqi mineral rights with whipstock oil drilling. Had Iraq's response been targeted to that particular issue, the US probably would not have responded militarily and might even have mediated. US policy towards Iraq had two objectives at the time. One was to keep Iraq from stepping on the toes of the gulf states. The other was to use Iraq as a deterrent to Iran. Once Iraq went way beyond the scope of what the US expected with respect to Kuwait, the objective was to humiliate Saddam but not destroy the Iraqi state. Given the scale of the Iraqi defeat, it was not unreasonable for the GHWB administration to anticipate a coup against Saddam from within the Baathist structure. There were in fact signals sent to encourage that.
    , @L.K
    I agree with your take, Seamus.
    Saddam just never imagined a fight with the US and never prepared for it.

    Also, as you pointed out, the weakest part of the Saker's otherwise good article, is his repeating - he has done it b4 - of the completely unsupported nonsense that Iran "used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel."

    By 2003, Saddam was hardly a threat to Iran. Plus, getting ZUSA to invade Iraq in order to get rid of Saddam would mean something much worse; the completion of the encirclement of Iran, since Zusa had already invaded Afghnistan in 01, plus all the bases they have in arab Gulf client states.
    It does not add up at all, don't know where the saker got that nonsense from.
    , @Sam J.
    "...C’mon, Saker! You know better than that. You know damn well that the neocons themselves fabricated the WMD nonsense in order to justify invading Iraq..."
    Agreed. I was going to write exactly the same thing.
  27. @Daniel Chieh
    How would they hope to win a war against China if they can't afford to lose some carriers? I mean, if all else fails, we've expressed a willingness to destroy the entire satellite network above the world. The US would respond to that with nuclear war?

    How would they hope to win a war against China if they can’t afford to lose some carriers?

    1. US submarine force is world-class, at this stage and for a foreseeable future is much (I underscore–much) better than that of PLAN, despite PLAN’s improvements. It is also larger. That spells huge problems for PLAN’s surface component and its nuclear submarine component. SSKs are a separate matter.

    2. As I pointed out, escalation towards the threshold between US and Iran, and US and China will look vastly different. China is a nuclear power with full capability to reach lower 48. Ask yourself a question why China moved some of its Dong ICBMs closer to Russian border–away from US long range stand-off weapons and to a more convenient from the point of view of polar trajectories position. Deterrent 101.

    3. The issue of an enormous impact which the loss of a single CVN can have on political and military top in US is as old as Project 60, a tenure of Elmo Zumwalt as CNO in 1970-1074, and his team of experts including Admiral Stansfield Turner (later CIA Director). US Navy theoretically can lose some carriers in the naval war with PLAN, as long as it can claim a decisive victory in the whole confrontation. How probable it is–is a separate matter, in China US may encounter what it didn’t encounter even in Vietnam, a first rate Chinese Air Force. Having even a single CVN damaged, let alone sunk, by Iran–it will be a PR, military and political catastrophe. A completely different from confrontation with China set of circumstances.

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  28. […] !!! The Saker: Analysis of war between US & Iran . . .The Saker has  often demonstrated much basic knowledge about military strategy and the arms/technology required. […]

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  29. @Seamus Padraig

    Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA.
     
    Saddam Hussein got his clock cleaned by the Iranians in the 80s. The only reason Iraq survived that war at all was because of their liberal use of poison gas. No, the real reason Saddam invaded Kuwait, is because he was under the impression that Washington wouldn't mind. US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, told Saddam that the US took no position on Arab vs. Arab disputes. Saddam (mis-)interpreted that as a green light. The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.

    Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel.
     
    C'mon, Saker! You know better than that. You know damn well that the neocons themselves fabricated the WMD nonsense in order to justify invading Iraq. Why? Look up 'Oded Yinon'.

    The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.

    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie’s statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.

    The US knew that there was a real issue with Kuwait violating Iraqi mineral rights with whipstock oil drilling. Had Iraq’s response been targeted to that particular issue, the US probably would not have responded militarily and might even have mediated. US policy towards Iraq had two objectives at the time. One was to keep Iraq from stepping on the toes of the gulf states. The other was to use Iraq as a deterrent to Iran. Once Iraq went way beyond the scope of what the US expected with respect to Kuwait, the objective was to humiliate Saddam but not destroy the Iraqi state. Given the scale of the Iraqi defeat, it was not unreasonable for the GHWB administration to anticipate a coup against Saddam from within the Baathist structure. There were in fact signals sent to encourage that.

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    • Replies: @RobinG

    "I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie’s statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse. "
     
    Please, don't you think a grain of salt is in order? If he knew, that doesn't mean he'd tell you. If he was really "in an official capacity" he'll never admit to it, since that's surely covered by official secrets. But since it was only "his opinion," it seems he didn't really know.
    , @MEexpert

    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie’s statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.
     
    After the Iran revolution, the US had lost all bases in the Persian Gulf. They needed a escape goat to get their foot back in the Gulf. Desert Storm was nothing but to scare Saudi Arabia into allowing the US to establish bases in the kingdom. To do that they needed Iraq to invade Kuwait and knock at the Saudi door. Which Saddam gladly obliged but he did not expect the US response of that magnitude.

    Saudis wanted Saddam defeated but not deposed because they needed him as a deterrent to Iran. GHW Bush wanted him gone but he did not want to antagonize the Saudis so he gave signals to Iraqis to do his dirty work for him. Shias and Kurds acted on Bush's signals but without any support from US. The result was a massacre of Shias and Kurds. All that blood is on GHW Bush's hands.

    Desert Storm was a typical "shock and awe" response from the exceptional nation.
    , @KA
    In the lead-up to the invasion of Kuwait, the United States’ ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, met with Saddam.  According to a transcript of that meeting released by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, Ambassador Glaspie told Saddam, “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” http://www.salon.com/2016/02/28/theyre_still_lying_about_the_first_gulf_war_how_the_first_george_bush_helped_create_todays_middle_east_trouble/

    No it was not a mis-communication . It was calculated and designed to get Saddam do what Saddam was unequivocal about doing . Given his history, his clear reference not even an oblique one , this threat should have been taken seriously and US position should have been communicated in the clearest . US did not do it . US basically offered him their support . US would repeat the same oblique assurances to the Kurds and Shia just a few months later . No these were not mis steps They were calculated and designed .


    . Kuwait was invaded before in 1960s It was Egypt who peacefully sorted the things out .
    In 1990 Gulf and Egypt tried their best to be allowed to mediate again but they were stomped on the faces and asked to follow what UK US were planning .
  30. May the Trump Administration be wise and reverse to colition course against Iran.

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  31. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?”

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn’t even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.

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    • Replies: @L.K
    You are a fool. ZUSA flattened North Korea and Vietnam, yet it did not win those wars.

    Yes, Israel was soundly defeated, as it failed to achieve ALL its stated objectives.
    They could not even take little towns half a click from the border.
    Former British MI6 analyst, Alastair Crooke had the following to say in conclusion about the fighting in Lebanon, 06:

    But by any accounting - whether in rockets, armored vehicles or numbers of dead and wounded - Hezbollah's fight against Israel must be accorded a decisive military and political victory. Even if it were otherwise (and it is clearly not), the full impact of Hezbollah's war with Israel over a period of 34 days in July and August has caused a political earthquake in the region.

     

    , @MEexpert

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn’t even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.
     
    You mush have been drinking the Israeli K00l-Aid. They did not achieve their military objective so they killed whole bunch of civilians. That is what Israel does well. Even the Israeli Generals admitted that Israel suffered a defeat in the 31 day war. With such a lopsided military advantage why would Israel back away if they were winning? Also, why did the government launch an inquiry for military failures against Hezbollah?

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor. If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.
    , @Randal

    IDF was defeated?
     
    Well Hezbollah held the ground and the IDF retreated having failed to achieve its objectives. Both sides claimed victory, but the general view is that Hezbollah gained out of it and Israel lost prestige for no real compensating gain.

    Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn’t even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.
     
    These kinds of claims ("flattened Lebanon", "destroying entire cities") are rather bizarre for historians of the Second World War. The total dead on both sides from the entire 2006 war amounted to less than a couple of thousand.

    The pathfinder incendiaries for a single day's US/UK slaughter bombing raids in WW2 probably could have killed nearly that many before the main events of the night even began.
  32. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “Saddam Hussein then committed a series of unforgivable mistakes the worst one being to give the USA many months to deploy into the KSA (this blatantly contradicts Soviet military doctrine which tells me that Saddam Hussein did not listen to this Soviet-trained generals or that these generals were afraid to speak up).”

    No, Hussein figured correctly that if he attacked the US first, that would give the US the justification to attack Iraq.
    Hussein hoped to the very end that it would be resolved by negotiations. He thought the US was bluffing as it built up troops against Iraq.
    At any rate, had he attacked the US first, it would have been war, and he would have lost just the same.

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  33. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    If US decides to attack Iran, it won’t be to invade but to destroy infrastructure and much else that will set Iran back about 10 – 20 yrs. Look at Syria. It’s been set back at least 20 yrs.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    If we destroy their infrastructure and set them back 20 years, it won't be done without America paying a steep price.

    The cost of flying so many sorties and using so many missles is enormously expensive. Just look up the average flying cost per hour of the F35 or even a F18.

    The cost of losing X amount of planes and X amount of ships is also incredibly expensive.

    And unless we are willing to land troops and control land, we can expect to lose ships and planes. So if we land, expect X amount of soldiers killed.

    All the while, expect to see higher gas prices in America and higher inflation coupled with a global depression with America deeply divided.

    Iran may lose much of its infrastructure, 20 years or so you say? But America may not recover from its Isreali adventure.
  34. @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    “Knowing Iran, though, I don’t exclude that they’d do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.”

    Ha,ha… “Knowing Iran”?? WTF?? Ridiculous, being prejudiced against Iran, which you obviously are, is very different from “Knowing Iran”.

    Your surname appears to be Jewish… maybe that is the source of your animosity towards Iran?

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  35. @Anon
    "Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?"

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn't even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.

    You are a fool. ZUSA flattened North Korea and Vietnam, yet it did not win those wars.

    Yes, Israel was soundly defeated, as it failed to achieve ALL its stated objectives.
    They could not even take little towns half a click from the border.
    Former British MI6 analyst, Alastair Crooke had the following to say in conclusion about the fighting in Lebanon, 06:

    But by any accounting – whether in rockets, armored vehicles or numbers of dead and wounded – Hezbollah’s fight against Israel must be accorded a decisive military and political victory. Even if it were otherwise (and it is clearly not), the full impact of Hezbollah’s war with Israel over a period of 34 days in July and August has caused a political earthquake in the region.

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    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    Yes, and the destabilization campaign against Syria a few years later was an aftershock to that earthquake. The emergence of a Shia arc from Iran to Lebanon (albeit more secular in Syria) that can resist Israel's ambitions is unconscionable. Funny thing is, it probably would not have happened had Israel not invaded Lebanon in 1982 (a few years after which, Hezbollah forced Israeli occupation forces to retreat the for first time in their history).
    , @Anon
    CHINA entered into the Korean War!!

    US would have won otherwise.

    Also, even if US didn't win in Korean War, it killed 1/4 of North Korean population. I call that getting an upperhand.

    Look, suppose China attacks the US but doesn't succeed in occupying it. Suppose the US loses 1/4 of its population and all its cities are in rubble after the attack. Suppose China itself was never touched by the US.

    So, who came out ahead?

    In Lebanon, Israel sent a clear message that if Hezbollah tries anything again, Lebanon will be hit with massive bombing.

    Israel didn't 'win' but it sure did most of the killing and damage.
  36. @Seamus Padraig

    Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA.
     
    Saddam Hussein got his clock cleaned by the Iranians in the 80s. The only reason Iraq survived that war at all was because of their liberal use of poison gas. No, the real reason Saddam invaded Kuwait, is because he was under the impression that Washington wouldn't mind. US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, told Saddam that the US took no position on Arab vs. Arab disputes. Saddam (mis-)interpreted that as a green light. The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.

    Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel.
     
    C'mon, Saker! You know better than that. You know damn well that the neocons themselves fabricated the WMD nonsense in order to justify invading Iraq. Why? Look up 'Oded Yinon'.

    I agree with your take, Seamus.
    Saddam just never imagined a fight with the US and never prepared for it.

    Also, as you pointed out, the weakest part of the Saker’s otherwise good article, is his repeating – he has done it b4 – of the completely unsupported nonsense that Iran “used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel.”

    By 2003, Saddam was hardly a threat to Iran. Plus, getting ZUSA to invade Iraq in order to get rid of Saddam would mean something much worse; the completion of the encirclement of Iran, since Zusa had already invaded Afghnistan in 01, plus all the bases they have in arab Gulf client states.
    It does not add up at all, don’t know where the saker got that nonsense from.

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    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    Another point Saker never really explains here is whey exactly Iran would want a very powerful enemy, the US, to set up shop right next door in Iraq? Even at its peak in the 80s, Iraq simply wasn't that much of a danger to Iran. But the US is another matter. It was bad enough for the Iranians having us to their east, in Afghanistan. Why would they want to be completely surrounded by us?
  37. @L.K
    You are a fool. ZUSA flattened North Korea and Vietnam, yet it did not win those wars.

    Yes, Israel was soundly defeated, as it failed to achieve ALL its stated objectives.
    They could not even take little towns half a click from the border.
    Former British MI6 analyst, Alastair Crooke had the following to say in conclusion about the fighting in Lebanon, 06:

    But by any accounting - whether in rockets, armored vehicles or numbers of dead and wounded - Hezbollah's fight against Israel must be accorded a decisive military and political victory. Even if it were otherwise (and it is clearly not), the full impact of Hezbollah's war with Israel over a period of 34 days in July and August has caused a political earthquake in the region.

     

    Yes, and the destabilization campaign against Syria a few years later was an aftershock to that earthquake. The emergence of a Shia arc from Iran to Lebanon (albeit more secular in Syria) that can resist Israel’s ambitions is unconscionable. Funny thing is, it probably would not have happened had Israel not invaded Lebanon in 1982 (a few years after which, Hezbollah forced Israeli occupation forces to retreat the for first time in their history).

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  38. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @L.K
    You are a fool. ZUSA flattened North Korea and Vietnam, yet it did not win those wars.

    Yes, Israel was soundly defeated, as it failed to achieve ALL its stated objectives.
    They could not even take little towns half a click from the border.
    Former British MI6 analyst, Alastair Crooke had the following to say in conclusion about the fighting in Lebanon, 06:

    But by any accounting - whether in rockets, armored vehicles or numbers of dead and wounded - Hezbollah's fight against Israel must be accorded a decisive military and political victory. Even if it were otherwise (and it is clearly not), the full impact of Hezbollah's war with Israel over a period of 34 days in July and August has caused a political earthquake in the region.

     

    CHINA entered into the Korean War!!

    US would have won otherwise.

    Also, even if US didn’t win in Korean War, it killed 1/4 of North Korean population. I call that getting an upperhand.

    Look, suppose China attacks the US but doesn’t succeed in occupying it. Suppose the US loses 1/4 of its population and all its cities are in rubble after the attack. Suppose China itself was never touched by the US.

    So, who came out ahead?

    In Lebanon, Israel sent a clear message that if Hezbollah tries anything again, Lebanon will be hit with massive bombing.

    Israel didn’t ‘win’ but it sure did most of the killing and damage.

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  39. @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast.

    I think one thing that gets overlooked is that disruption of the gulf oil trade would be not only a problem for the western economies but for the stability of KSA. KSA is full of people who tolerate Saudi rule just as long as the money’s flowing. If the KSA economy, or maybe even military, were weakened by war, all bets would be off in the predominantly Shia northern oil patch.

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  40. @anonymous
    US and Iran went to war 30 years ago. It lasted exactly one day. Iranians ran away from Iraq too soon afterwards. Iran is just as weak now as it was 30 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Praying_Mantis

    The next war will last 1 day

    US and Iran went to war 30 years ago. It lasted exactly one day. Iranians ran away from Iraq too soon afterwards. Iran is just as weak now as it was 30 years ago.

    As George W. Bush will say “bring them on.” Keep this mind set and you will have a surprise of your life coming. I hope the US military commanders are not as dumb as that.

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  41. @Alexpopoff
    All is great except 1 forgotten thing: there are no "Iranians". Iranians is a bunch of various religion sects and ethnicities, every one of them will go their own way, when central gvmnt will lose the ability to forcing them to be to together. Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives, same with Kurds and many other groups will do the same. Iran is crazy quilt, where very "iranians" or we batter call em "persians" are only 60% of Iran population. Even their shia brotherhood is virtual, because their ethnic and language differencies are much deeper.

    So all that US will need to do with Iran is to bomb out central gvmnt, ethnic, language and religoius minorities will do the rest.

    “Iranian Azeris will try to secede and to reunite with their Azerbaijanian relatives, same with Kurds and many other groups will do the same.”

    For your information Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an Azeri. So much for Azeris running from the battle.

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  42. @Anon
    "Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?"

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn't even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn’t even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.

    You mush have been drinking the Israeli K00l-Aid. They did not achieve their military objective so they killed whole bunch of civilians. That is what Israel does well. Even the Israeli Generals admitted that Israel suffered a defeat in the 31 day war. With such a lopsided military advantage why would Israel back away if they were winning? Also, why did the government launch an inquiry for military failures against Hezbollah?

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor. If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor.
     
    This is indeed a huge factor. Many expect an attack by Hezbollah on Israel in response to any attack on Iran, though whether this would happen, or be advisable, is perhaps in some doubt. Hezbollah is clearly a strong ally of Iran and very dependent upon it for support, but it is not a mere puppet, and there are many possible limited war situations in which Iran itself wold prefer to maintain Hezbollah in reserve rather than asking it to go all in.

    On the other hand, I am fairly confident Israel sees a US war with Iran as their opportunity to settle with Hezbollah once and for all. Indeed, Israeli support for the regime change effort in Syria can be viewed as an attempt to structure the strategic environment favourably for what they see as an, in their view inevitable, showdown.

    If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.
     
    Hezbollah missiles, conventionally armed, are not particularly militarily significant, though hugely politically significant. Again, this is a matter of political will.

    As I noted above in relation to US/Iran, this is a matter of the political context, not the military balance. The point being that, unlike the military balance the political context can change dramatically overnight. Before 11th September 2001 there would have been no possibility of the US electorate accepting even the militarily trivial casualties involved in invading Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards, they have accepted them, by and large (at least until the occupations dragged on for many years). Likewise, before 7th December 1941 there would have been no possibility of the US population accepting the costs of a war with Japan. After the events of that day, there was negligible opposition to it.

    In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme. The two interact, but as I said the key point is the relative changeability of the political context, in contrast to the difficult to rapidly change military balance.
  43. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    If Trump starts war, there will be massive anti-war protests.

    Iran should play on that.

    Btw, in a Trump vs Iran confrontation, will the Liberal Zionists side with Trump or with Iran?

    That’d be a tough call.

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  44. @SmoothieX12

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event.
     
    Or Gulf Of Tonkin.

    If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.
     
    In case of Iran, one may (I don't say it will happen) expect a much less forgiving posture than Iraq, should there be any attempts to predeploy ground forces. The staging areas, unlike it was the case with Iraq, will be attacked national borders regardless. As per aircraft carrier, even the mission kill of a single US Navy's CVN will create a full blown political crisis in D.C. US Navy's aircraft carriers are more than just the foundation of US power projection capability, they are a national symbol. Psychological impact of a mission loss, let alone if one of the CVNs is sunk will be enormous. Use of nuclear weapons in retaliation could authorized. This is the point which many people fail to understand--US military-political psyche is very fragile in a sense that any conventional loss on a large scale, and disabling even one CVN is a major naval feat for a country such as Iran, and FROM Iran is a gigantic humiliation, that it may initiate the use of nukes. It is totally within the realm of not only possible but robustly probable. This was the case in Korea, which led to Truman dismissal of MacArthur whose hands itched to use nukes, this was the case with Vietnam where the use of nukes was considered. The escalation to threshold with Iran is, of course, very different that it may have been, say, with Russia or China. I doubt Iran has tactical nukes, forget strategic. The main question in this case is: does Iran have P-800 Oniks missiles, especially not in export variant;-)

    Of course, when you are dealing with longer range anti-ship weapons, the issue of finding the target accurately enough to launch looms a lot larger, especially in a environment where the opponent has complete air supremacy, very strong ASW capabilities and a hefty tech advantage.

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    • Replies: @Vendetta
    Which is likely the reason for Iran's investments into drone aircraft and also into strange ideas like their little ekranoplan aircraft - these are tools to slip through under presumed enemy air superiority and spot targets in the Gulf.
  45. @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    A strategy that is a lot less effective on a world in which only an oil glut and resulting low oil prices is holding the lid on an explosion in US shale oil output, than it might have been a few years ago.

    Nevertheless, the pain will likely be real (except for US shale oil investors and businesses, and military contractors and suppliers, and oil businesses and suppliers without significant Gulf interests, of course). But it only reinforces the point that the issue is largely one of political will on the part of the US regime, rather than military power as such, notwithstanding the inevitable interplay between the two. As is normally the case in relation to conflict between a superpower and an ordinary country, with the inevitable military mismatch.

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  46. @MEexpert

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn’t even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.
     
    You mush have been drinking the Israeli K00l-Aid. They did not achieve their military objective so they killed whole bunch of civilians. That is what Israel does well. Even the Israeli Generals admitted that Israel suffered a defeat in the 31 day war. With such a lopsided military advantage why would Israel back away if they were winning? Also, why did the government launch an inquiry for military failures against Hezbollah?

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor. If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor.

    This is indeed a huge factor. Many expect an attack by Hezbollah on Israel in response to any attack on Iran, though whether this would happen, or be advisable, is perhaps in some doubt. Hezbollah is clearly a strong ally of Iran and very dependent upon it for support, but it is not a mere puppet, and there are many possible limited war situations in which Iran itself wold prefer to maintain Hezbollah in reserve rather than asking it to go all in.

    On the other hand, I am fairly confident Israel sees a US war with Iran as their opportunity to settle with Hezbollah once and for all. Indeed, Israeli support for the regime change effort in Syria can be viewed as an attempt to structure the strategic environment favourably for what they see as an, in their view inevitable, showdown.

    If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.

    Hezbollah missiles, conventionally armed, are not particularly militarily significant, though hugely politically significant. Again, this is a matter of political will.

    As I noted above in relation to US/Iran, this is a matter of the political context, not the military balance. The point being that, unlike the military balance the political context can change dramatically overnight. Before 11th September 2001 there would have been no possibility of the US electorate accepting even the militarily trivial casualties involved in invading Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards, they have accepted them, by and large (at least until the occupations dragged on for many years). Likewise, before 7th December 1941 there would have been no possibility of the US population accepting the costs of a war with Japan. After the events of that day, there was negligible opposition to it.

    In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme. The two interact, but as I said the key point is the relative changeability of the political context, in contrast to the difficult to rapidly change military balance.

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    • Replies: @L.K
    Randal:"In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme."

    A vacuous comment on so many levels. You seem to exercise this silly notion that you could separate the military from the 'political' context. It does not work that way.
    BTW, never have the cowardly israelis been as casualty averse as they are now.
    Their occupation of South Lebanon failed before, ending in defeat, at a time when Hezb possessed only a fraction of the manpower, firepower, organization, experience, etc, it now has.
    Also, Hezb's rocket/missile arsenal can cause a lot more damage, including civilian casualties, than you seem to think. Ever heard of those Haifa ammonia tanks? Not to mention the serious economic disruption Israel would suffer.
    As for ZUSA attacking, defeating and occupying Iran, well, they have been treatening Iran for decades and Iran is much stronger now than back in 79.
    Yet, ZUSA has not attacked, despite all the machinations of the Zionist 5th columnists in Zamerica to get such a war going.
    After all the trillions of dollars of wasted taxpayers money and military casualties, most americans are in no mood for a serious and much more costly war - in money and lives - in the M.E. Also gone are the days ZUSA could pay the price in blood it did in Korea or Vietnam. They have become a very casualty averse military force too.
    Again I'll quote author William Lind, a specialist on the US military:

    ' [a]phenomenon for which we should all give thanks, is a growing reluctance to commit the U.S. military to overseas conflicts. (This applies more to the Army and Marine Corps than the Navy and Air Force, but the latter are irrelevant to Fourth Generation war.) Reasons include cost and fear of casualties, but the biggest reason may be the one that is never spoken: the Establishment knows we will almost certainly lose.
     
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Supposing Israel does see war against Iran as its opporyunity to "deal with Hezbollah once and for all" what would count as having dealt with Hezbollah "once and for all"? Israeli capture of all Hezbollah males over 16 and total control thereafter of their activities including times and places of them? Genocide? Might not Israel more rationally hope that Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon eventually have too much to lose and opt out of making war as Iran's proxies?
  47. @Anon
    "Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?"

    IDF was defeated? Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn't even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.

    IDF was defeated?

    Well Hezbollah held the ground and the IDF retreated having failed to achieve its objectives. Both sides claimed victory, but the general view is that Hezbollah gained out of it and Israel lost prestige for no real compensating gain.

    Israel flattened Lebanon and then retreated. Hezbollah didn’t even touch Israel. So, which side won? Sure, Israel pulled back eventually, but ONLY AFTER destroying entire cities.

    These kinds of claims (“flattened Lebanon”, “destroying entire cities”) are rather bizarre for historians of the Second World War. The total dead on both sides from the entire 2006 war amounted to less than a couple of thousand.

    The pathfinder incendiaries for a single day’s US/UK slaughter bombing raids in WW2 probably could have killed nearly that many before the main events of the night even began.

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  48. @Randal

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor.
     
    This is indeed a huge factor. Many expect an attack by Hezbollah on Israel in response to any attack on Iran, though whether this would happen, or be advisable, is perhaps in some doubt. Hezbollah is clearly a strong ally of Iran and very dependent upon it for support, but it is not a mere puppet, and there are many possible limited war situations in which Iran itself wold prefer to maintain Hezbollah in reserve rather than asking it to go all in.

    On the other hand, I am fairly confident Israel sees a US war with Iran as their opportunity to settle with Hezbollah once and for all. Indeed, Israeli support for the regime change effort in Syria can be viewed as an attempt to structure the strategic environment favourably for what they see as an, in their view inevitable, showdown.

    If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.
     
    Hezbollah missiles, conventionally armed, are not particularly militarily significant, though hugely politically significant. Again, this is a matter of political will.

    As I noted above in relation to US/Iran, this is a matter of the political context, not the military balance. The point being that, unlike the military balance the political context can change dramatically overnight. Before 11th September 2001 there would have been no possibility of the US electorate accepting even the militarily trivial casualties involved in invading Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards, they have accepted them, by and large (at least until the occupations dragged on for many years). Likewise, before 7th December 1941 there would have been no possibility of the US population accepting the costs of a war with Japan. After the events of that day, there was negligible opposition to it.

    In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme. The two interact, but as I said the key point is the relative changeability of the political context, in contrast to the difficult to rapidly change military balance.

    Randal:”In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme.”

    A vacuous comment on so many levels. You seem to exercise this silly notion that you could separate the military from the ‘political’ context. It does not work that way.
    BTW, never have the cowardly israelis been as casualty averse as they are now.
    Their occupation of South Lebanon failed before, ending in defeat, at a time when Hezb possessed only a fraction of the manpower, firepower, organization, experience, etc, it now has.
    Also, Hezb’s rocket/missile arsenal can cause a lot more damage, including civilian casualties, than you seem to think. Ever heard of those Haifa ammonia tanks? Not to mention the serious economic disruption Israel would suffer.
    As for ZUSA attacking, defeating and occupying Iran, well, they have been treatening Iran for decades and Iran is much stronger now than back in 79.
    Yet, ZUSA has not attacked, despite all the machinations of the Zionist 5th columnists in Zamerica to get such a war going.
    After all the trillions of dollars of wasted taxpayers money and military casualties, most americans are in no mood for a serious and much more costly war – in money and lives – in the M.E. Also gone are the days ZUSA could pay the price in blood it did in Korea or Vietnam. They have become a very casualty averse military force too.
    Again I’ll quote author William Lind, a specialist on the US military:

    ‘ [a]phenomenon for which we should all give thanks, is a growing reluctance to commit the U.S. military to overseas conflicts. (This applies more to the Army and Marine Corps than the Navy and Air Force, but the latter are irrelevant to Fourth Generation war.) Reasons include cost and fear of casualties, but the biggest reason may be the one that is never spoken: the Establishment knows we will almost certainly lose.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    You seem to exercise this silly notion that you could separate the military from the ‘political’ context. It does not work that way.
     
    It works precisely that way and I've explained both the mechanism and its importance to understanding the world on several occasions.

    Military power and political will are each required to fight and win any war, and are directly related. In the example I gave above, on 6th December 1941 the US regime did not have either the existing military force or the practically mobilisable military power to conquer Japan. If the US President had started a war with Japan, the country would have been so casualty averse that he would have been forced to end the war in a humiliating negotiated peace. For such a war of choice, he could not have mobilised the country to generate the military power needed to fight a long brutal war with Japan, nor to justify the measures used in the event to prosecute it. On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did - fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.

    What changed in that 24 hour period? Nothing in the military or political structures of either country - only the national political will available to the US President.

    This is why it is not only possible to distinguish between military power and political will, but essential to do so - military power usually changes substantially only very slowly, on a timescale of years or decades, whereas political will can change overnight.


    BTW, never have the cowardly israelis been as casualty averse as they are now.
     
    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional - wars of choice.
  49. Perhaps the best part from the Saker’s piece is when he writes:

    “If anybody seriously believes that the Iranians will prepare for a US attack by trying to out-American the Americans I have a few bridges to sell to them.
    What Iranians, and Hezbollah, perfectly understood is that the key to prevail against the USA is to deny them the American way of war and to impose them a type of warfare they absolutely loathe. We can call that the Iranian way of war.”

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  50. @L.K
    Randal:"In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme."

    A vacuous comment on so many levels. You seem to exercise this silly notion that you could separate the military from the 'political' context. It does not work that way.
    BTW, never have the cowardly israelis been as casualty averse as they are now.
    Their occupation of South Lebanon failed before, ending in defeat, at a time when Hezb possessed only a fraction of the manpower, firepower, organization, experience, etc, it now has.
    Also, Hezb's rocket/missile arsenal can cause a lot more damage, including civilian casualties, than you seem to think. Ever heard of those Haifa ammonia tanks? Not to mention the serious economic disruption Israel would suffer.
    As for ZUSA attacking, defeating and occupying Iran, well, they have been treatening Iran for decades and Iran is much stronger now than back in 79.
    Yet, ZUSA has not attacked, despite all the machinations of the Zionist 5th columnists in Zamerica to get such a war going.
    After all the trillions of dollars of wasted taxpayers money and military casualties, most americans are in no mood for a serious and much more costly war - in money and lives - in the M.E. Also gone are the days ZUSA could pay the price in blood it did in Korea or Vietnam. They have become a very casualty averse military force too.
    Again I'll quote author William Lind, a specialist on the US military:

    ' [a]phenomenon for which we should all give thanks, is a growing reluctance to commit the U.S. military to overseas conflicts. (This applies more to the Army and Marine Corps than the Navy and Air Force, but the latter are irrelevant to Fourth Generation war.) Reasons include cost and fear of casualties, but the biggest reason may be the one that is never spoken: the Establishment knows we will almost certainly lose.
     

    You seem to exercise this silly notion that you could separate the military from the ‘political’ context. It does not work that way.

    It works precisely that way and I’ve explained both the mechanism and its importance to understanding the world on several occasions.

    Military power and political will are each required to fight and win any war, and are directly related. In the example I gave above, on 6th December 1941 the US regime did not have either the existing military force or the practically mobilisable military power to conquer Japan. If the US President had started a war with Japan, the country would have been so casualty averse that he would have been forced to end the war in a humiliating negotiated peace. For such a war of choice, he could not have mobilised the country to generate the military power needed to fight a long brutal war with Japan, nor to justify the measures used in the event to prosecute it. On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did – fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.

    What changed in that 24 hour period? Nothing in the military or political structures of either country – only the national political will available to the US President.

    This is why it is not only possible to distinguish between military power and political will, but essential to do so – military power usually changes substantially only very slowly, on a timescale of years or decades, whereas political will can change overnight.

    BTW, never have the cowardly israelis been as casualty averse as they are now.

    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional – wars of choice.

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    • Replies: @L.K
    I had gotten your point b4, but I do not entirely agree with you at all.

    On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did – fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.
     
    You ignore the simple fact that ZUSA'S society has undergone much change since, this ain't the 1940s anymore. People in modern ZUSA simply can no longer stomach heavy military losses. Today, folks would never entertain the notion of suffering 1 million military casualties under less than 4 years of war, like ZUSA did in WW2...
    With the possible exception, of course, of a ridiculous scenario, one that did not EVER exist, the one in which ZUSA is invaded by foreign forces, a la "Red Dawn".

    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional – wars of choice.

     

    Oh, gimme a break, all zionist & zamerican wars have been wars of choice.
    Zusa's entering WWII was a war of choice.
    Sure, The US public was of course tricked, conned, much like they were tricked into the fraudulent 'war on terror' by the 9-11 false flag event.
    But, wars of choice did not make them, particularly the zamericans, all that 'casualty averse' in the past... since then, those important societal changes I mentioned, over decades, have taken place.
    So, not really.
    But look, whatever, we clearly do not agree on this, let's leave it at that.
  51. @Randal
    Of course, when you are dealing with longer range anti-ship weapons, the issue of finding the target accurately enough to launch looms a lot larger, especially in a environment where the opponent has complete air supremacy, very strong ASW capabilities and a hefty tech advantage.

    Which is likely the reason for Iran’s investments into drone aircraft and also into strange ideas like their little ekranoplan aircraft – these are tools to slip through under presumed enemy air superiority and spot targets in the Gulf.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Which is likely the reason for Iran’s investments into drone aircraft and also into strange ideas like their little ekranoplan aircraft – these are tools to slip through under presumed enemy air superiority and spot targets in the Gulf.
     
    Indeed.

    But there's no reason why a US carrier battle group should ever need to operate in the Gulf, or anywhere nearer than several hundred miles offshore in the Indian ocean. That's an awful lot of ocean to search, a long way away, to find a target....

    As others have noted, the targets will likely be minesweepers and picket ships, trying to protect shipping in the Gulf while the US attacks and possibly occupies key Iranian shore installations to try to close off effective Iranian access to the Gulf.
  52. @L.K
    I agree with your take, Seamus.
    Saddam just never imagined a fight with the US and never prepared for it.

    Also, as you pointed out, the weakest part of the Saker's otherwise good article, is his repeating - he has done it b4 - of the completely unsupported nonsense that Iran "used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel."

    By 2003, Saddam was hardly a threat to Iran. Plus, getting ZUSA to invade Iraq in order to get rid of Saddam would mean something much worse; the completion of the encirclement of Iran, since Zusa had already invaded Afghnistan in 01, plus all the bases they have in arab Gulf client states.
    It does not add up at all, don't know where the saker got that nonsense from.

    Another point Saker never really explains here is whey exactly Iran would want a very powerful enemy, the US, to set up shop right next door in Iraq? Even at its peak in the 80s, Iraq simply wasn’t that much of a danger to Iran. But the US is another matter. It was bad enough for the Iranians having us to their east, in Afghanistan. Why would they want to be completely surrounded by us?

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    • Replies: @L.K
    Exactly. He is just totally wrong on this count, it's nonsense.
  53. @Randal

    You seem to exercise this silly notion that you could separate the military from the ‘political’ context. It does not work that way.
     
    It works precisely that way and I've explained both the mechanism and its importance to understanding the world on several occasions.

    Military power and political will are each required to fight and win any war, and are directly related. In the example I gave above, on 6th December 1941 the US regime did not have either the existing military force or the practically mobilisable military power to conquer Japan. If the US President had started a war with Japan, the country would have been so casualty averse that he would have been forced to end the war in a humiliating negotiated peace. For such a war of choice, he could not have mobilised the country to generate the military power needed to fight a long brutal war with Japan, nor to justify the measures used in the event to prosecute it. On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did - fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.

    What changed in that 24 hour period? Nothing in the military or political structures of either country - only the national political will available to the US President.

    This is why it is not only possible to distinguish between military power and political will, but essential to do so - military power usually changes substantially only very slowly, on a timescale of years or decades, whereas political will can change overnight.


    BTW, never have the cowardly israelis been as casualty averse as they are now.
     
    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional - wars of choice.

    I had gotten your point b4, but I do not entirely agree with you at all.

    On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did – fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.

    You ignore the simple fact that ZUSA’S society has undergone much change since, this ain’t the 1940s anymore. People in modern ZUSA simply can no longer stomach heavy military losses. Today, folks would never entertain the notion of suffering 1 million military casualties under less than 4 years of war, like ZUSA did in WW2…
    With the possible exception, of course, of a ridiculous scenario, one that did not EVER exist, the one in which ZUSA is invaded by foreign forces, a la “Red Dawn”.

    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional – wars of choice.

    Oh, gimme a break, all zionist & zamerican wars have been wars of choice.
    Zusa’s entering WWII was a war of choice.
    Sure, The US public was of course tricked, conned, much like they were tricked into the fraudulent ‘war on terror’ by the 9-11 false flag event.
    But, wars of choice did not make them, particularly the zamericans, all that ‘casualty averse’ in the past… since then, those important societal changes I mentioned, over decades, have taken place.
    So, not really.
    But look, whatever, we clearly do not agree on this, let’s leave it at that.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    USA has not experienced war on her fortress/island in over 200 years.

    "Let's fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here."
    , @Randal

    You ignore the simple fact that ZUSA’S society has undergone much change since, this ain’t the 1940s anymore. People in modern ZUSA simply can no longer stomach heavy military losses
     
    Yes. that's true as well but it doesn't change the truth of my own assertion, it merely adds another reason to the one I gave. Indeed, what you are in effect arguing is that the US has suffered a decline in the national political will available to its leaders to wage wars that counteracts its increasing dominance in purely military terms.

    This is what explains the seeming paradox that is often the cause of misunderstandings about strategic realities, of why after decades of spending nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military, many multiples as much as its actual individual rivals and enemies, the US seemingly "can't win wars".

    Oh, gimme a break, all zionist & zamerican wars have been wars of choice.
    Zusa’s entering WWII was a war of choice.
     
    Again, there is a sense in which what you say here is correct, given that since the mid-C19th the US has been safe from external aggression to a degree that no other nation has had the luxury of being able to claim, and yet has continue to wage wars overseas.

    But this has not been the perception of the American people, aided by clever opinion management and the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever seen, in Hollywood and the US news networks.

    And, of course, the immediate trigger for US formal involvement in WW2 was Pearl Harbor. Ordinary Americans had no notion that it was a preventive war by Japan in response to decades of deliberate US pressure to try to strangle Japan and destroy it as a potential rival. They just saw it as they were told to see it - as an act of supposedly unprovoked aggression and clear evidence of a supposedly direct threat to their existence as a nation.

    But look, whatever, we clearly do not agree on this, let’s leave it at that.
     
    Fair enough.
  54. @Seamus Padraig
    Another point Saker never really explains here is whey exactly Iran would want a very powerful enemy, the US, to set up shop right next door in Iraq? Even at its peak in the 80s, Iraq simply wasn't that much of a danger to Iran. But the US is another matter. It was bad enough for the Iranians having us to their east, in Afghanistan. Why would they want to be completely surrounded by us?

    Exactly. He is just totally wrong on this count, it’s nonsense.

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  55. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @L.K
    I had gotten your point b4, but I do not entirely agree with you at all.

    On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did – fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.
     
    You ignore the simple fact that ZUSA'S society has undergone much change since, this ain't the 1940s anymore. People in modern ZUSA simply can no longer stomach heavy military losses. Today, folks would never entertain the notion of suffering 1 million military casualties under less than 4 years of war, like ZUSA did in WW2...
    With the possible exception, of course, of a ridiculous scenario, one that did not EVER exist, the one in which ZUSA is invaded by foreign forces, a la "Red Dawn".

    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional – wars of choice.

     

    Oh, gimme a break, all zionist & zamerican wars have been wars of choice.
    Zusa's entering WWII was a war of choice.
    Sure, The US public was of course tricked, conned, much like they were tricked into the fraudulent 'war on terror' by the 9-11 false flag event.
    But, wars of choice did not make them, particularly the zamericans, all that 'casualty averse' in the past... since then, those important societal changes I mentioned, over decades, have taken place.
    So, not really.
    But look, whatever, we clearly do not agree on this, let's leave it at that.

    USA has not experienced war on her fortress/island in over 200 years.

    “Let’s fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”

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  56. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    This is incredibly nieve analysis.

    This isn’t a video game Anatoly. If we couldn’t bomb the Afganis into submission there is no way we will be able to bomb Iran back into the stone age.

    Once we fire the first missle, there will be a waiting game of who will break first. Do you seriously think an America that is so divided will put up with higher gas prices, rampant inflation, a crumbling economy, and US soldiers dying in foreign lands for no good reason? What about Trump seeing his support base evaporate when they realize he is just another establishment shill who is just putting Isreal first?

    Meanwhile Iran will be fighting for its very existence with nothing to lose.

    If Trump really wanted this war it was stupid for him to pick fights with Mexico and China at the same time. Does Trump not understand how divide and conquer works?

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  57. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Anon
    If US decides to attack Iran, it won't be to invade but to destroy infrastructure and much else that will set Iran back about 10 - 20 yrs. Look at Syria. It's been set back at least 20 yrs.

    If we destroy their infrastructure and set them back 20 years, it won’t be done without America paying a steep price.

    The cost of flying so many sorties and using so many missles is enormously expensive. Just look up the average flying cost per hour of the F35 or even a F18.

    The cost of losing X amount of planes and X amount of ships is also incredibly expensive.

    And unless we are willing to land troops and control land, we can expect to lose ships and planes. So if we land, expect X amount of soldiers killed.

    All the while, expect to see higher gas prices in America and higher inflation coupled with a global depression with America deeply divided.

    Iran may lose much of its infrastructure, 20 years or so you say? But America may not recover from its Isreali adventure.

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  58. I am fairly certain that any attack on Iran will involve Russia and possibly China. China is big into the energy game, wanting oil and knowing they have to deal with American at every turn to get it. They were in Libya making deals when America decided Libya needed to be destroyed so the oil could be rerouted. Russia understands that undermining US hegemony around the globe is valuable at all times.
    I don’t think Iran will have the air defenses to deal with wave after wave of US aircraft, but I do think it is possible Russia could provide Iran with up-to-date S-300 and perhaps even S-400 and S-500 SAM’s, which would give the US Air Force pause. I have heard that some of these systems can take down the B-2 stealth bomber.
    Russia could also provide Iran with exception intel, and possibly even communications and electronic warfare capabilities… all without having to directly get involved. They could just do a Cold War proxy.
    Both Russia and China could provide “advisors” and they could also provide Special Forces that could fight on Iran’s side. Iranians and Russians look similar just as Americans and Germans look similar.
    Also, Iraq is made up of a lot of Shia, and they’ve been in a war with the US for fourteen years. If Iraqis decide to fight the US both inside Iraq and by crossing into Iran as volunteers, this could provide several divisions worth of hardened veterans who can share with their Iranian allied US and coalition combat methods.
    I would employ as many snipers as possible. I would make movies of Iranians taking out American snipers and putting them on the internet as a counter to that American Sniper propaganda film with Bradley Cooper. Iran would do well to have serious, endless, counter-propaganda getting out to the world to undermine the America-only narrative. One movie after another depicting American’s committing actual atrocities. Since American’s always commit atrocities, if Iran accurately portrayed them, and didn’t alter what actually happened, they could look like good guys. Enough Westerners would want answers and if they learned the stories were true, Iran would score points. Just as Westerners can’t stand high casualty counts of their own soldiers, they also can’t stand stories showing real war crimes committed by their side. Iran will need a powerful counter-propaganda arm. This alone could end the war early for them by turning the American public against the conflict. But it would have to be true. Truth can kill American war aims. Both Russia and China could help in this regard. We all know it would only be a matter of days before the US bombed a hospital, school, TV station, Chinese embassy or whatever. We always do.

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  59. Trump could count on the vile KM (kosher media – anything emanating from NY or LA) to attempt to convince the “America First” Trump supporters that any attack on Iran is not just a favor to our jooie masters……er best friend in the ME. The jooie led progressives and democrats would line up behind the attack immediately….just as they did for the slaughters in Serbia, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan,etc. Can’t mound bodies up high enough to please the dems and progs. The christians would not be howling for blood as loud as the rest…..they would be baying twice as loud. Never underestimate the vile KM. To this day, the majority of the american public believe Saddam was responsible for 911.

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  60. @Thirdeye

    The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.
     
    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie's statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.

    The US knew that there was a real issue with Kuwait violating Iraqi mineral rights with whipstock oil drilling. Had Iraq's response been targeted to that particular issue, the US probably would not have responded militarily and might even have mediated. US policy towards Iraq had two objectives at the time. One was to keep Iraq from stepping on the toes of the gulf states. The other was to use Iraq as a deterrent to Iran. Once Iraq went way beyond the scope of what the US expected with respect to Kuwait, the objective was to humiliate Saddam but not destroy the Iraqi state. Given the scale of the Iraqi defeat, it was not unreasonable for the GHWB administration to anticipate a coup against Saddam from within the Baathist structure. There were in fact signals sent to encourage that.

    “I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie’s statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse. “

    Please, don’t you think a grain of salt is in order? If he knew, that doesn’t mean he’d tell you. If he was really “in an official capacity” he’ll never admit to it, since that’s surely covered by official secrets. But since it was only “his opinion,” it seems he didn’t really know.

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  61. @Anatoly Karlin

    This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”.
     
    That was partially true for the UK, not so much for the US, which focused on armaments factories and fuel depots.

    If not for the bombing campaign the German armaments production surge in 1943-44 would have been greater, its mechanized forces would have been more mobile, and the Western Allies and especially the USSR would have incurred greater casualties.

    Still why not score a cheap meaningless point against the Anglo-Zionists.

    Fire bombing and later nuking Japanese cities? I do believe the Americans did that.

    And the Americans used carpet bombing in urban areas in Europe.

    Your reply is disingenuous at best.

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  62. @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    Such consideration of detail is very important but I partly agree with Randal about the effect of closing the Straits of Hormuz to oil transport. The US would, because of the dormant fracking revolutuon, not suffer enough from that to invalidate its calculations if they were otherwise sound.

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  63. I have previously suggested that the rational US approach to any legitimate fear of Iran is to focus entirely on the alleged threat of Iran developing a nuclear weapon. The way to give effect to that emphasis would be to convey in very clear terms – say in testimony to a Senate committee by a senior general so as not to involve heads of government in unnecessary posturing – that any announcement of a nuclear weapon and any test would be met immediately by bombing which would wipe out every suspected underground facility and, necessarily, everything above it. What else justifies US military action against Iran? Continued support of Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel? A reason for sanctions, not more.

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  64. I’m not sure what the point of gaming out a US invasion and occupation of Iran. We have no desire or incentive to do so.

    If Iran responds to a limited bombing aimed at key nuclear and military targets with mining Hormuz and shooting missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel, the response would be devastating. In a matter of a few months, all of its military bases, bridges, airports, interurban roads, and large factories would be destroyed. It would have no electricity outside of backup generators. All its oil would be worthless with no ability to export it or refine it. Its economy would collapse and would face famine with no ability to move enough food to feed the 15 million people in greater Tehran, not to mention its other cities.

    So what if it has tunnels and a few remote hardened bunkers?

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    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    I’m not sure what the point of gaming out a US invasion and occupation of Iran. We have no desire or incentive to do so.
     
    For the same reason movie characters do stupid things. To heighten the drama. Since policymakers are not Hollywood scriptwriters trying to ramp up the drama to sell movie tickets, but politicians trying to reduce the drama so as to be able to jack up their poll ratings, I expect them to hit Iran in a way that minimizes their political risks.

    GWB invaded and occupied Iraq on the assumption that US troops would be welcomed. Obviously he's got to keep up a strong front in order to not devalue the sacrifices of the GI's and assorted American civilians who died there. But if he had known that 5,000 GI's would end up coming home in caskets because of the occupation, he probably would have stayed his hand, or at least withdrawn quickly after appointing a new Iraqi leader.
  65. @Anatoly Karlin
    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran's best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    The best ways of doing that at Iran's disposal are:

    * Anti-ship missiles
    * Mines

    Anti-ship missiles: The bulk of the Iranian arsenal is based on Chinese C-802 missiles, which are similar to Harpoons and Exocets. Unless fired in salvoes, the USN can probably deal with them, though they would pose a credible threat to passing oil tankers - enough of a risk, hopefully, to get insurers to stop covering the Strait of Hormuz route (which is ultimately what really matters).

    Mines: Iran's naval mine stockpile is opaque, though its possible that it would be even more of a threat to shipping. It would be helpful to begin mine-laying operations before open outbreak of hostilities if at all possible, since doing so would become far header afterwards (though ironically, a covert mine-laying operation could be what tips the whole thing over into open conflict in the first place).

    One solid option would be to keep most of the anti-ship missiles in reserve, and use them primarily to attack US mine-clearing ships (which are less well defended than its capital ships, and far more fragile than double-hulled, multi-compartment oil supertankers). This might even force the US into launching ground operations on the Iranian coast, which will add bodybags to economic pain and possibly plunge it into political crisis.

    If possible, I would also consider launching intermediate range missiles at Saudi oil installations, which are very densely clustered on its east coast. Knowing Iran, though, I don't exclude that they'd do something pointless and stupid like fire them at Tel Aviv.

    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.

    I agree this is its “best” option if it wants to fight an unwinnable war, but it still isn’t a very good option.

    Each and every year, the US uses less oil per $ of GDP. We are roughly at parity on oil production, exporting and importing low numbers mostly to match grades with refineries. Any oil price spike, however, and we’d become a major exporter, as we have a ton of production capacity that becomes viable in the 60-80 range, not to mention the SPR. Canada is much the same, it is far below capacity with tar sands, it is just not viable at current prices to increase production very quickly.

    It would be bad for Europe and Japan, which import a lot of oil. However their GDP/oil ratio is even better than ours, so the impact would again not be too extreme.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    US domestic oil production covers at best 50% of their needs. Oil consumption in the US in the last 10 years has gone down by about 2 mil. bpd – from 21 to 19 mil. bpd – but this is probably mostly due to the recession than to increased efficiency. Future forecasts call for oil demand rising again in the 21 million bpd range.

    The shale oil boom has only allowed US to decrease oil imports from around 75% to about 50% of their total consumption. Unless US invents new drilling technology that will allow them to drill extra deep through the earth core and access Saudi Arabia oil wells from US soil, US will probably never be able to produce enough oil to match domestic needs.

    , @bluedog
    Oil from fracking and the tar oil of Canada are very very expensive to produce, and oil from those two sources need oil to be much closer to the $80 range than the $60 and then factor in the fact that those fracked wells have a very short life span and add in the fact that we have an economy that's DOA and well that's a different picture...
  66. the sunni and shite must remove there military influence from yemen and allow the country to live in peace.the week of the 18 the february 2017 will bring a warning,a sign of the consequences.

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  67. @Randal

    What everybody is forgetting is the Hezbollah factor.
     
    This is indeed a huge factor. Many expect an attack by Hezbollah on Israel in response to any attack on Iran, though whether this would happen, or be advisable, is perhaps in some doubt. Hezbollah is clearly a strong ally of Iran and very dependent upon it for support, but it is not a mere puppet, and there are many possible limited war situations in which Iran itself wold prefer to maintain Hezbollah in reserve rather than asking it to go all in.

    On the other hand, I am fairly confident Israel sees a US war with Iran as their opportunity to settle with Hezbollah once and for all. Indeed, Israeli support for the regime change effort in Syria can be viewed as an attempt to structure the strategic environment favourably for what they see as an, in their view inevitable, showdown.

    If, and it is a big if, US attacks Iran, Israel cannot afford to join the fight because of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has much more fire power now than in 2006 and the missiles are aimed at Tel Aviv and Israel knows it. Israel does not have access to Hezbollah missiles. The worst they can do is to kill more civilians.
     
    Hezbollah missiles, conventionally armed, are not particularly militarily significant, though hugely politically significant. Again, this is a matter of political will.

    As I noted above in relation to US/Iran, this is a matter of the political context, not the military balance. The point being that, unlike the military balance the political context can change dramatically overnight. Before 11th September 2001 there would have been no possibility of the US electorate accepting even the militarily trivial casualties involved in invading Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards, they have accepted them, by and large (at least until the occupations dragged on for many years). Likewise, before 7th December 1941 there would have been no possibility of the US population accepting the costs of a war with Japan. After the events of that day, there was negligible opposition to it.

    In the right political context, Israel can easily tolerate whatever Hezbollah can throw at it, and the casualties needed to militarily occupy southern Lebanon. But Hezbollah is sufficiently well organized and militarily strong that the political context would need to be quite extreme. The two interact, but as I said the key point is the relative changeability of the political context, in contrast to the difficult to rapidly change military balance.

    Supposing Israel does see war against Iran as its opporyunity to “deal with Hezbollah once and for all” what would count as having dealt with Hezbollah “once and for all”? Israeli capture of all Hezbollah males over 16 and total control thereafter of their activities including times and places of them? Genocide? Might not Israel more rationally hope that Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon eventually have too much to lose and opt out of making war as Iran’s proxies?

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Supposing Israel does see war against Iran as its opporyunity to “deal with Hezbollah once and for all” what would count as having dealt with Hezbollah “once and for all”? Israeli capture of all Hezbollah males over 16 and total control thereafter of their activities including times and places of them? Genocide?
     
    Well in some cases the longer term consequences take second place to just inflicting a defeat on an enemy who has embarrassed them. Just beat Hezbollah, at any price, then worry about cleaning up and exploiting the consequences afterwards. Much as it seemed like a good idea to use islamism to defeat the moribund PLO regardless of the consequences, with the result that they got Hamas, or as they see using jihadists to overthrow the Syrian government as a good idea because it means inflicting defeat and humiliation on their old Syrian enemy (others see it, as noted above, as structuring the strategic context for a showdown with Iran and Hezbollah).

    It's important to remember that these people, though in many cases very intelligent, are functionally irrational either because they are making policy based upon emotion as described above, or because they are basing their analysis on delusional misunderstandings of the nature of the parties - dismissing Hezbollah as mere terrorists imposed upon their shia subjects by Iranian money, rather than recognising them as a popular national defence militia for the south Lebanese militia in response to the violence inflicted on those people by Israel and its enemies in the 1980s and before. Much as many Americans delusionally believe that Iran is run by some kind of alien class of "mullahs" who hold down a resentful and rebellious people that can be "liberated" from them, whereas in fact the "mullahs" are just conservative Iranian nationalism in office.

    Might not Israel more rationally hope that Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon eventually have too much to lose and opt out of making war as Iran’s proxies?
     
    Probably, but that requires sustained peace and a degree of trust, which seems unlikely to materialise in the region based upon Israel's settler colonial expansion policies during its victorious period of regional dominance since the 1973 war.
  68. @Anatoly Karlin

    This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”.
     
    That was partially true for the UK, not so much for the US, which focused on armaments factories and fuel depots.

    If not for the bombing campaign the German armaments production surge in 1943-44 would have been greater, its mechanized forces would have been more mobile, and the Western Allies and especially the USSR would have incurred greater casualties.

    Still why not score a cheap meaningless point against the Anglo-Zionists.

    Sorry, I see you were only commenting about German cities, not Japanese. But I do think the American military has shown itself time and again to not shy away from attacking civilian targets, now, in the far past, and all times in between.

    That’s probably true for most militaries when they’re not winning. That’s why I’m against all aggressive wars.

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  69. All part of the grand plan of the Bankster’s since *ALL* Wars are Banker’s War’s!

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

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    • Replies: @RobinG
    It's not that I have anything against Amy Goodman (which I do: she's a sold-out imperialist gatekeeper) but this DemocracyNow clip is the lamest explanation of the Pentagon's "7 countries in 5 years" plan. Wesley Clark says some 'hammer and nails' nonsense, as if attacking Iraq was about terrorists. Later he says oil was the cause. Well, it certainly got the ball rolling, but it's also a distraction.

    As you've noted, these ME wars are about much more than oil. (Bankers, Israel, etc.) At the time of these talks, Gen. Clark was hawking his book and running for President. Speaking to the Commonwealth Club of California, he revealed factors at play long before "terrorism" was even an excuse. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, taking out former Soviet allies in the Mid-East was already high on the agenda.

    Does the extra 5 minutes scare you? I guess I have to keep posting this myself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E
    General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years
  70. @Saker,
    You should stop writing about Special Ops. You can’t conceal the fact that you are digging yourself out of your own hole.
    Key message here: Russia, and the Saker, fear American Special Ops.

    Now: Pentagon – don’t spoil the well. Reduce Special Ops deployments by 80℅.

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  71. Illuminating article and discussion. With the onset of hostilities, uncertainties abound; and it is very difficult to see, once again, how the US will have benefited in any material, political, or spiritual way after their cessation other than to be able to say that the military prevailed, militarily. Of course the country will be that much more despised abroad, that much more divided at home, the fortress will need that much more reinforcing, and American freedoms and self respect will be that much deeper in the garbage can. All in all, an offer that, alas, should not be that difficult to refuse.

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  72. …not to mention the ruin and devastation we will have inflicted on yet another country that represents no appreciable danger to any vital interest of the American people – unless one accounts keeping our bloated Defense establishment bloated as a vital interest.
    Apologies for succumbing to the habit of thinking that it’s always and forever all about us. We never really do take the trouble to take the measure of what we have done to whom and how it has all worked out for them. What was it that Stalin said – a single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic? So true – especially when the big numbers are on the other side.

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  73. There is no way that Russia is going to allow the US to install more missiles near the Russian border. Furthermore, Trump is not stupid, and not a neocon. Finally, US military readiness, as evaluated internally, is dismal….Hence, there is not going to be an Iranian war, and Trump needs to move on to ending the idiotic NATO aggression in Ukraine…

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    • Replies: @Agent76
    This report will give you a clear view. Feb 3, 2017 How Trump Filled The Swamp

    With promises to "drain the swamp!" still ringing in our ears, we have watched Trump appoint nothing but Goldman banksters, Soros stooges, neocon war hawks and police state zealots to head his cabinet.

    https://youtu.be/cs0BfPDvUQg
  74. @pyrrhus
    There is no way that Russia is going to allow the US to install more missiles near the Russian border. Furthermore, Trump is not stupid, and not a neocon. Finally, US military readiness, as evaluated internally, is dismal....Hence, there is not going to be an Iranian war, and Trump needs to move on to ending the idiotic NATO aggression in Ukraine...

    This report will give you a clear view. Feb 3, 2017 How Trump Filled The Swamp

    With promises to “drain the swamp!” still ringing in our ears, we have watched Trump appoint nothing but Goldman banksters, Soros stooges, neocon war hawks and police state zealots to head his cabinet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Yep and now you have Trumps pick to head the C.I.A. handing the Saudi's an award for fighting terrorism lol no you can't make this shit up, the more thing change the more they stay the same,rather doubt it makes little difference be it Trump or Clinton that occupies the oval office for they bother stunk to high heavens its only the rubes that got fooled..
  75. @Lot

    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.
     
    I agree this is its "best" option if it wants to fight an unwinnable war, but it still isn't a very good option.

    Each and every year, the US uses less oil per $ of GDP. We are roughly at parity on oil production, exporting and importing low numbers mostly to match grades with refineries. Any oil price spike, however, and we'd become a major exporter, as we have a ton of production capacity that becomes viable in the 60-80 range, not to mention the SPR. Canada is much the same, it is far below capacity with tar sands, it is just not viable at current prices to increase production very quickly.

    It would be bad for Europe and Japan, which import a lot of oil. However their GDP/oil ratio is even better than ours, so the impact would again not be too extreme.

    US domestic oil production covers at best 50% of their needs. Oil consumption in the US in the last 10 years has gone down by about 2 mil. bpd – from 21 to 19 mil. bpd – but this is probably mostly due to the recession than to increased efficiency. Future forecasts call for oil demand rising again in the 21 million bpd range.

    The shale oil boom has only allowed US to decrease oil imports from around 75% to about 50% of their total consumption. Unless US invents new drilling technology that will allow them to drill extra deep through the earth core and access Saudi Arabia oil wells from US soil, US will probably never be able to produce enough oil to match domestic needs.

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    • Replies: @Lot
    Sorry, those numbers are not even close to right. We never imported 75% of oil, we peaked around 50% and was 24% last year. A large price increase would reduce consumption and increase production to the point we'd be at par in a year or two.
  76. It’s a little surprising that what may have been the most significant role of special forces in Gulf War II has not been mentioned here: Paying bribes to Iraqi generals.

    A fascinating piece in the May 19 Defense News quotes Gen. Tommy Franks, chief of U.S. Central Command, confirming what had until now been mere rumors picked up by dubious Arab media outlets—that, before Gulf War II began, U.S. special forces had gone in and bribed Iraqi generals not to fight.

    For some strange reason, I can’t find the original article at Defense News, nor any links to it, so either media outlets like Slate were serving up fake news about these events, or the article has been deleted.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2003/05/smart_bribes.html

    A story about this in UK’s The Express, reported by Jeff Rense, also seems to have gone down the memory hole. A search of The Express site yields no results.

    CIA’s Golden Victory -
    US Bribed Iraqi Military Leaders

    The teams carried suitcases full of gold bullion, US dollars, Swiss francs and euros to buy off regime leaders, and threatened to kill those who refused to cooperate.

    http://www.rense.com/general37/hej.htm

    Did The Iraqi Army Take A Dive For The U.S.?

    Citing anonymous sources, Le Monde’s correspondent in Baghdad wrote that Sufyan ordered his troops to lay down their arms and go home. A short time later, an Apache helicopter escorted Sufyan from the Al Rashid camp, east of Baghdad, to an undisclosed safe haven.
    [...]
    The deal may have been sweeter than Le Monde knew. The Arabic-language weekly Arab Voice reported that there had been secret talks between U.S. forces and the Republican Guard. A deal was allegedly approved by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that offered large sums of money to the top echelon of the Republican Guard and offers of American citizenship for commanders and their families.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3235.htm

    Those researchers, analysts, and internet gadflies with better search-engine skills than I may get better results tracking down the original articles cited herein, but I can’t find the original Le Monde article either.

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  77. @Agent76
    This report will give you a clear view. Feb 3, 2017 How Trump Filled The Swamp

    With promises to "drain the swamp!" still ringing in our ears, we have watched Trump appoint nothing but Goldman banksters, Soros stooges, neocon war hawks and police state zealots to head his cabinet.

    https://youtu.be/cs0BfPDvUQg

    Yep and now you have Trumps pick to head the C.I.A. handing the Saudi’s an award for fighting terrorism lol no you can’t make this shit up, the more thing change the more they stay the same,rather doubt it makes little difference be it Trump or Clinton that occupies the oval office for they bother stunk to high heavens its only the rubes that got fooled..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Agent76
    You are correct as this will reveal. Aug 21, 2015 No, Clinton Operative Donald Trump Is Not Going to "Save" America

    It's kinda hard to believe I actually had to make this video wherein I had to pretend like any of the words that are coming out of this person's mouth are even 0.0002% genuine. That really just happened. Wow, America. Just... Wow!

    https://youtu.be/vgYfkvfjvn4
  78. @Lot

    In a real Iran vs. US war, Iran’s best bet would be to close the Strait of Hormuz and hold it in place long enough for the ensuing oil price spike and (probable) recession to force the US to the negotiating table.
     
    I agree this is its "best" option if it wants to fight an unwinnable war, but it still isn't a very good option.

    Each and every year, the US uses less oil per $ of GDP. We are roughly at parity on oil production, exporting and importing low numbers mostly to match grades with refineries. Any oil price spike, however, and we'd become a major exporter, as we have a ton of production capacity that becomes viable in the 60-80 range, not to mention the SPR. Canada is much the same, it is far below capacity with tar sands, it is just not viable at current prices to increase production very quickly.

    It would be bad for Europe and Japan, which import a lot of oil. However their GDP/oil ratio is even better than ours, so the impact would again not be too extreme.

    Oil from fracking and the tar oil of Canada are very very expensive to produce, and oil from those two sources need oil to be much closer to the $80 range than the $60 and then factor in the fact that those fracked wells have a very short life span and add in the fact that we have an economy that’s DOA and well that’s a different picture…

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    • Replies: @Lot
    You are right that fracking well lifespans are short. You are wrong about the prices on which tar sands and fracking are viable. Costs have been cut significantly the past 8 years. A spike in oil will also make wet gas fracking more viable and in turn lower the price of natural gas and NGLs, in turn offsetting some of the oil price increase pain.
    , @Sam J.
    The high cost you present are way to high. Drilling has been automated quite a bit. There's new drilling equipment using plasma drilling that vastly reduces cost and there's about to be a huge, massive glut of oil from a new microwave system. It microwaves the underground water and oil driving it out of the well. It will also be used to restart wells that have lost pressure. We have thousands and thousands of these. Oil prices are about to collapse.

    http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/12/microwave-oil-recovery-could-unlock.html
  79. I’ve been waiting for 10 years for this war to happen. Yet I believe Trump will be like the others, when push comes to shove he’ll pussy out.

    Maaaannn…. we’re never gonna have a war with Iran. That’s some bullshit right there.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Oh no Trump will have his war for the simply reason that war is the only thing propping up the EMPIRE and its feeble economy and without it we are toast,and that you can take to the bank..
    , @Rabbitnexus
    Yes and here I was looking forward to seeing "Israel" gone in a cloud of smoke and the USA collapsing into the sewer it has dug under itself. never mind it is still on the cards. Iran will be around long after the the US Empire and Rothschildlandia are history. Not even more than 300 years between them too and what a hash they both made of it!
  80. I would only take issue with this analysis in one respect. I think it underestimates the Iranian defensive response to an air attack. Other than US stealth airplanes the current Iranian surface to air system is advanced enough to take out any air assault.

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  81. @Max Payne
    I've been waiting for 10 years for this war to happen. Yet I believe Trump will be like the others, when push comes to shove he'll pussy out.

    Maaaannn.... we're never gonna have a war with Iran. That's some bullshit right there.

    Oh no Trump will have his war for the simply reason that war is the only thing propping up the EMPIRE and its feeble economy and without it we are toast,and that you can take to the bank..

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  82. @SmoothieX12

    If it were a pre-emptive or preventive attack and could be portrayed as an act of aggression by the US sphere propaganda media, then it would doubtless be used by the US regime as a Pearl Harbor-type event.
     
    Or Gulf Of Tonkin.

    If it were in the course of ongoing military operations they would find that much harder to do, and it would be more likely to cause internal US political strife.
     
    In case of Iran, one may (I don't say it will happen) expect a much less forgiving posture than Iraq, should there be any attempts to predeploy ground forces. The staging areas, unlike it was the case with Iraq, will be attacked national borders regardless. As per aircraft carrier, even the mission kill of a single US Navy's CVN will create a full blown political crisis in D.C. US Navy's aircraft carriers are more than just the foundation of US power projection capability, they are a national symbol. Psychological impact of a mission loss, let alone if one of the CVNs is sunk will be enormous. Use of nuclear weapons in retaliation could authorized. This is the point which many people fail to understand--US military-political psyche is very fragile in a sense that any conventional loss on a large scale, and disabling even one CVN is a major naval feat for a country such as Iran, and FROM Iran is a gigantic humiliation, that it may initiate the use of nukes. It is totally within the realm of not only possible but robustly probable. This was the case in Korea, which led to Truman dismissal of MacArthur whose hands itched to use nukes, this was the case with Vietnam where the use of nukes was considered. The escalation to threshold with Iran is, of course, very different that it may have been, say, with Russia or China. I doubt Iran has tactical nukes, forget strategic. The main question in this case is: does Iran have P-800 Oniks missiles, especially not in export variant;-)

    Smoothie, nobody is talking about Russia position and possible reaction to all this that’s being discussed. What’s your opinion? Iran is Russia neighbor so to speak and all this is supposed to happen along Russia borders including possibility of nuclear strikes.

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    • Replies: @SmoothieX12
    I can not conceive that Russia will allow Iran to "fall" without some kind of interference since establishment of the puppet "pro-Western" govt there will mean only one thing--military bases in Russia's soft underbelly. That was the case prior to fall of House of Pahlavi in 1979, including establishment of electronic surveillance posts on Soviet-Iranian border in Talysh Mountains which operated under the auspices of CENTO . The domes and antennas of that facility were dominating Astara. This is as far as I can see it now--it is a very complex region with a bizarre dynamics (f.e. Iran and Armenia have very good relations) so it is very difficult to predict other than in general. Russia certainly wants to have Caspian Sea as her (plus former USSR republics) and Iranian internal sea.
  83. Other key points:

    1. The Russians and French gave the USA all the blueprints and details of the Iraqi air defense system they had built before the air war.

    2. Saddam agreed to UN demands two days before the invasion was to take place. He openly ordered all Iraqi forces to withdraw from Kuwait. His Generals fled first leaving confused troops staggering behind as the US started its attack a day earlier. Had the Iraqis fought for Kuwait City it would have been a mess.

    3. Before attacking Iran, the USA better get its 6000 troops and 10,000 contractors out of Iraq. Otherwise, they will become POWs as Iraqi’s Shia government and Sadr’s militia along with Iranian troops in Iraq and Syria round them up. Our troops in Afghanistan would also face problems.

    4. Many assume the USA can keep the Strait of Hormuz open since its 29 miles wide. But it only has two deep ship channels where supertankers can pass. A sunk ship or sea mines can close each channel. This is why world oil markets would go crazy. And even if deemed safe, civilian ship crews and Lloyds insurers will not allow attempts to cross.

    5. There are several small islands in the Strait of Hormuz fortified by Iran. Getting Iranian gunners out of those would be a bloody mess.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/Strait_of_hormuz_full.jpg

    6. In recent major aerial offensives, the USA ran out of bombs and missiles within three weeks, so declared victory and accepted peace terms. Iran may not be agreeable, and it will take months to make and ship over more bombs.

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  84. @anonymous
    US and Iran went to war 30 years ago. It lasted exactly one day. Iranians ran away from Iraq too soon afterwards. Iran is just as weak now as it was 30 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Praying_Mantis

    The next war will last 1 day

    Well, let us say the US won the war with Iran several times over. Why are Americans then making so much fuss over Iran now?

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  85. The globalist controlled MSM is focused on chaos, trauma, fear mongering, lies and violence. Note the uptick of the USA vs Iran war talk headlines since the election of the Pro-American Anti-Globalist Trump. Show the globalists you can’t be mind controlled and reject their slave media and look behind the scenes, not what the MSM is presenting as facts; they deal in illusion.

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  86. Trump’s also got to watch his back in any military operation he undertakes. Whereas the establishment lead the destruction of the ME countries and protected the presidents involved, they might just let the system go after Trump if he did the same thing!

    They’ll play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules with him. They’ll let him have “his war” against Iran, to fulfill their own agenda, and than they’ll go after him for doing it for the wrong reasons. In the end they’ll get rid of him while pretending to stand for the rule of law as well.

    (For this reasons, I actually don’t think Trump is planning any war on Iran. It’s the little ruse he uses, first making you think he’s going to take Romny, Giuliani, Bolton, Abrams, or any other of these criminally insane lunatics into his cabinet, and then unceremoniously dropping their sorry asses. Starting a new war in the ME goes too much against his very clear and astute criticism of the establishment, which he so successfully campaigned against.)

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    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
    I'm over all that. It is a puppet show. The phony Muslim ban showed that. Trump and the MSM agreed to protect the Saudis I noticed. Nobody going to assassinate Trump, that's part of the show. Just razzamatazz.
  87. @bluedog
    Yep and now you have Trumps pick to head the C.I.A. handing the Saudi's an award for fighting terrorism lol no you can't make this shit up, the more thing change the more they stay the same,rather doubt it makes little difference be it Trump or Clinton that occupies the oval office for they bother stunk to high heavens its only the rubes that got fooled..

    You are correct as this will reveal. Aug 21, 2015 No, Clinton Operative Donald Trump Is Not Going to “Save” America

    It’s kinda hard to believe I actually had to make this video wherein I had to pretend like any of the words that are coming out of this person’s mouth are even 0.0002% genuine. That really just happened. Wow, America. Just… Wow!

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  88. @macilrae
    Both Americans and Israelis get mighty unsettled when they actually start to take losses in an engagement - it makes them scared and it makes them vindictive: it's not supposed to happen. Remember the reprisals that occurred when, I think, thirteen Israelis got killed in their first major Gaza incursion? Remember what triggered Falujah? The huge Achilles heel of both is that they simply cannot take losses and as soon as they start taking them, they back off and maybe saturate the area with cluster-bomblets or demolish populated city blocks to get one sniper. Troops that can return to base at the end of the day for video games and a choice between Burger King or McDonalds don't do so well against an enemy which has been waiting for them all night in freezing dugouts.


    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I'd predict that the IDF would reply with nukes - ironical when you consider this whole thing heated up over the possibility that Iran might obtain them. I am not so sure how many nukes the Iranians could take before folding - I suspect the Israelis have more than enough.

    And Iran would respond with biological & chemical weapons, which I’m sure they have plenty of.
    They’re inexpensive, easy to make & deploy.

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    • Replies: @Rabbitnexus
    Not so. These weapons have been used against Iran, by proxies of the USA, who supplied them. It is to your shame you would accuse the worst victim of their use in modern times!
    Iran has forsworn such weapons as un-Islamic. You need to stop believing the US and Zionist propaganda.
  89. @Cyrano
    US domestic oil production covers at best 50% of their needs. Oil consumption in the US in the last 10 years has gone down by about 2 mil. bpd – from 21 to 19 mil. bpd – but this is probably mostly due to the recession than to increased efficiency. Future forecasts call for oil demand rising again in the 21 million bpd range.

    The shale oil boom has only allowed US to decrease oil imports from around 75% to about 50% of their total consumption. Unless US invents new drilling technology that will allow them to drill extra deep through the earth core and access Saudi Arabia oil wells from US soil, US will probably never be able to produce enough oil to match domestic needs.

    Sorry, those numbers are not even close to right. We never imported 75% of oil, we peaked around 50% and was 24% last year. A large price increase would reduce consumption and increase production to the point we’d be at par in a year or two.

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Don't worry, you are not the only one that can't do the math. Most of the info on the Internet is incoherent. Last year US produced about 9 mil. bpd and consumed 19 mil. bpd. That's about 53% imports. Yet most of the sources on the Internet claim that US imported somewhere between 21% to 39%. They must be getting their data from the wishful thinking bureau.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_production
  90. @bluedog
    Oil from fracking and the tar oil of Canada are very very expensive to produce, and oil from those two sources need oil to be much closer to the $80 range than the $60 and then factor in the fact that those fracked wells have a very short life span and add in the fact that we have an economy that's DOA and well that's a different picture...

    You are right that fracking well lifespans are short. You are wrong about the prices on which tar sands and fracking are viable. Costs have been cut significantly the past 8 years. A spike in oil will also make wet gas fracking more viable and in turn lower the price of natural gas and NGLs, in turn offsetting some of the oil price increase pain.

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  91. @Lot
    Sorry, those numbers are not even close to right. We never imported 75% of oil, we peaked around 50% and was 24% last year. A large price increase would reduce consumption and increase production to the point we'd be at par in a year or two.

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one that can’t do the math. Most of the info on the Internet is incoherent. Last year US produced about 9 mil. bpd and consumed 19 mil. bpd. That’s about 53% imports. Yet most of the sources on the Internet claim that US imported somewhere between 21% to 39%. They must be getting their data from the wishful thinking bureau.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_production

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    • Replies: @Lot

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one that can’t do the math. Most of the info on the Internet is incoherent.

    Last year US produced about 9 mil. bpd and consumed 19 mil. bpd.
     
    We did not "consume" 19 mil bpd. 4.7bpld of refined oil products are exported from the United States. In other words, we have excess refining capacity compared to domestic consumption, so almost exactly half of the oil imported to the USA was re-exported after being refined, primarily into gasoline and diesel fuel.

    Thus, my numbers are right. You can read more here:

    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6
  92. @vetran
    Wanna drop some bunker-busters on Iranian nuke facilities or even strike a nuke over Persia? Well, be my guest "Strangelove twins" (Mattis/Flynn)! All the region (most of the Gulf as far as Israel) will be then contaminated with radioactivity, thanks to frequent siroccos and other dust storms that engulf most this part of the world.
    Therefore, the "nuke option" is or should be off the table as it would be tantamount to shot oneself in the foot.

    Mil planners suffer from compartmentalized thinking. Annual dust storms from Africa bringing presents of DU dropped on Libya to beef producing Texas! US beef consumers have had some uranium with that beef since then.

    DU dropped in ME found even in UK!

    http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/weapons_poison_europe.html

    U.S. WEAPONS POISON EUROPE

    RADIATION FROM IRAQ WAR DETECTED IN UK ATMOSPHERE

    There is a reason why rise of pancreatic cancer even among young Saudis! Saudis appear so far to be only ones in region collecting records collecting records, so lets assume cancer rising in other Gulf state countries as well. Mil planners know zero about how far and wide DU can go via air currents!

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Wow! I knew it was bad but had no idea of the extent of it and just how bad. Thanks.
  93. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    See also:
    “I’m horrified. The people out there – the Iraqis, the media and the troops – risk the most appalling ill health. And the radiation from depleted uranium can travel literally anywhere. It’s going to destroy the lives of thousands of children, all over the world. We all know how far radiation can travel. Radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales and in Britain you sometimes get red dust from the Sahara on your car.”

    The speaker is not some alarmist doomsayer. He is Dr. Chris Busby, the British radiation expert, Fellow of the University of Liverpool in the Faculty of Medicine and UK representative on the European Committee on Radiation Risk, talking about the best-kept secret of this war: the fact that by illegally using hundreds of tons of depleted uranium (DU) against Iraq, Britain and America have gravely endangered not only the Iraqis but the whole world.”

    http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/54297:depleted-uranium-horror-from-america

    Horror of USA’s Depleted Uranium in Iraq Threatens World

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/depleted-uranium-contamination-a-crime-against-humanity/29974

    Depleted Uranium Contamination: A Crime against Humanity

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  94. @Wonky
    Mil planners suffer from compartmentalized thinking. Annual dust storms from Africa bringing presents of DU dropped on Libya to beef producing Texas! US beef consumers have had some uranium with that beef since then.

    DU dropped in ME found even in UK!
    http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/weapons_poison_europe.html
    U.S. WEAPONS POISON EUROPE

    RADIATION FROM IRAQ WAR DETECTED IN UK ATMOSPHERE

    There is a reason why rise of pancreatic cancer even among young Saudis! Saudis appear so far to be only ones in region collecting records collecting records, so lets assume cancer rising in other Gulf state countries as well. Mil planners know zero about how far and wide DU can go via air currents!

    Wow! I knew it was bad but had no idea of the extent of it and just how bad. Thanks.

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    • Replies: @Agent76
    You got it Anonymous, and all ground forces have been exposed as well.

    August 7, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

    The Genie is Out of the Bottle

    Needless to say I was shocked at what he told me next: “The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear strike, probably by cruise missiles launched from aircrafts near the borders of Syria or right off the coast in the Mediterranean.”

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/08/07/nuclear-strike-on-syria/

    Aug 1, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

    https://youtu.be/4GQRf1auUMc
  95. @Cyrano
    Don't worry, you are not the only one that can't do the math. Most of the info on the Internet is incoherent. Last year US produced about 9 mil. bpd and consumed 19 mil. bpd. That's about 53% imports. Yet most of the sources on the Internet claim that US imported somewhere between 21% to 39%. They must be getting their data from the wishful thinking bureau.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_production

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one that can’t do the math. Most of the info on the Internet is incoherent.

    Last year US produced about 9 mil. bpd and consumed 19 mil. bpd.

    We did not “consume” 19 mil bpd. 4.7bpld of refined oil products are exported from the United States. In other words, we have excess refining capacity compared to domestic consumption, so almost exactly half of the oil imported to the USA was re-exported after being refined, primarily into gasoline and diesel fuel.

    Thus, my numbers are right. You can read more here:

    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Or You can read more here:

    https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_crude_oil_net_imports

    You know, funny thing about internet is you can find sources to support any claim. According to the website above, US net oil imports are twice as high as your source suggests, and if I had to bet I would say that they are probably both wrong and the real numbers are even higher.

  96. @Seamus Padraig

    Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA.
     
    Saddam Hussein got his clock cleaned by the Iranians in the 80s. The only reason Iraq survived that war at all was because of their liberal use of poison gas. No, the real reason Saddam invaded Kuwait, is because he was under the impression that Washington wouldn't mind. US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, told Saddam that the US took no position on Arab vs. Arab disputes. Saddam (mis-)interpreted that as a green light. The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.

    Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel.
     
    C'mon, Saker! You know better than that. You know damn well that the neocons themselves fabricated the WMD nonsense in order to justify invading Iraq. Why? Look up 'Oded Yinon'.

    “…C’mon, Saker! You know better than that. You know damn well that the neocons themselves fabricated the WMD nonsense in order to justify invading Iraq…”
    Agreed. I was going to write exactly the same thing.

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  97. @Wizard of Oz
    Supposing Israel does see war against Iran as its opporyunity to "deal with Hezbollah once and for all" what would count as having dealt with Hezbollah "once and for all"? Israeli capture of all Hezbollah males over 16 and total control thereafter of their activities including times and places of them? Genocide? Might not Israel more rationally hope that Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon eventually have too much to lose and opt out of making war as Iran's proxies?

    Supposing Israel does see war against Iran as its opporyunity to “deal with Hezbollah once and for all” what would count as having dealt with Hezbollah “once and for all”? Israeli capture of all Hezbollah males over 16 and total control thereafter of their activities including times and places of them? Genocide?

    Well in some cases the longer term consequences take second place to just inflicting a defeat on an enemy who has embarrassed them. Just beat Hezbollah, at any price, then worry about cleaning up and exploiting the consequences afterwards. Much as it seemed like a good idea to use islamism to defeat the moribund PLO regardless of the consequences, with the result that they got Hamas, or as they see using jihadists to overthrow the Syrian government as a good idea because it means inflicting defeat and humiliation on their old Syrian enemy (others see it, as noted above, as structuring the strategic context for a showdown with Iran and Hezbollah).

    It’s important to remember that these people, though in many cases very intelligent, are functionally irrational either because they are making policy based upon emotion as described above, or because they are basing their analysis on delusional misunderstandings of the nature of the parties – dismissing Hezbollah as mere terrorists imposed upon their shia subjects by Iranian money, rather than recognising them as a popular national defence militia for the south Lebanese militia in response to the violence inflicted on those people by Israel and its enemies in the 1980s and before. Much as many Americans delusionally believe that Iran is run by some kind of alien class of “mullahs” who hold down a resentful and rebellious people that can be “liberated” from them, whereas in fact the “mullahs” are just conservative Iranian nationalism in office.

    Might not Israel more rationally hope that Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon eventually have too much to lose and opt out of making war as Iran’s proxies?

    Probably, but that requires sustained peace and a degree of trust, which seems unlikely to materialise in the region based upon Israel’s settler colonial expansion policies during its victorious period of regional dominance since the 1973 war.

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  98. @Vendetta
    Which is likely the reason for Iran's investments into drone aircraft and also into strange ideas like their little ekranoplan aircraft - these are tools to slip through under presumed enemy air superiority and spot targets in the Gulf.

    Which is likely the reason for Iran’s investments into drone aircraft and also into strange ideas like their little ekranoplan aircraft – these are tools to slip through under presumed enemy air superiority and spot targets in the Gulf.

    Indeed.

    But there’s no reason why a US carrier battle group should ever need to operate in the Gulf, or anywhere nearer than several hundred miles offshore in the Indian ocean. That’s an awful lot of ocean to search, a long way away, to find a target….

    As others have noted, the targets will likely be minesweepers and picket ships, trying to protect shipping in the Gulf while the US attacks and possibly occupies key Iranian shore installations to try to close off effective Iranian access to the Gulf.

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  99. @bluedog
    Oil from fracking and the tar oil of Canada are very very expensive to produce, and oil from those two sources need oil to be much closer to the $80 range than the $60 and then factor in the fact that those fracked wells have a very short life span and add in the fact that we have an economy that's DOA and well that's a different picture...

    The high cost you present are way to high. Drilling has been automated quite a bit. There’s new drilling equipment using plasma drilling that vastly reduces cost and there’s about to be a huge, massive glut of oil from a new microwave system. It microwaves the underground water and oil driving it out of the well. It will also be used to restart wells that have lost pressure. We have thousands and thousands of these. Oil prices are about to collapse.

    http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/12/microwave-oil-recovery-could-unlock.html

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  100. @L.K
    I had gotten your point b4, but I do not entirely agree with you at all.

    On 8th December, the US had the potential to do what it did – fight a long, costly and brutal war of strangulation and slaughter Japanese civilians indiscriminately until they were terrorised into surrendering.
     
    You ignore the simple fact that ZUSA'S society has undergone much change since, this ain't the 1940s anymore. People in modern ZUSA simply can no longer stomach heavy military losses. Today, folks would never entertain the notion of suffering 1 million military casualties under less than 4 years of war, like ZUSA did in WW2...
    With the possible exception, of course, of a ridiculous scenario, one that did not EVER exist, the one in which ZUSA is invaded by foreign forces, a la "Red Dawn".

    The reason the Israelis are casualty averse is the very same reason the US is casualty averse in its modern wars. The peoples of the US and of Israel know that they face no real military threat and that the wars they are expected to fight in and pay for are optional – wars of choice.

     

    Oh, gimme a break, all zionist & zamerican wars have been wars of choice.
    Zusa's entering WWII was a war of choice.
    Sure, The US public was of course tricked, conned, much like they were tricked into the fraudulent 'war on terror' by the 9-11 false flag event.
    But, wars of choice did not make them, particularly the zamericans, all that 'casualty averse' in the past... since then, those important societal changes I mentioned, over decades, have taken place.
    So, not really.
    But look, whatever, we clearly do not agree on this, let's leave it at that.

    You ignore the simple fact that ZUSA’S society has undergone much change since, this ain’t the 1940s anymore. People in modern ZUSA simply can no longer stomach heavy military losses

    Yes. that’s true as well but it doesn’t change the truth of my own assertion, it merely adds another reason to the one I gave. Indeed, what you are in effect arguing is that the US has suffered a decline in the national political will available to its leaders to wage wars that counteracts its increasing dominance in purely military terms.

    This is what explains the seeming paradox that is often the cause of misunderstandings about strategic realities, of why after decades of spending nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on its military, many multiples as much as its actual individual rivals and enemies, the US seemingly “can’t win wars”.

    Oh, gimme a break, all zionist & zamerican wars have been wars of choice.
    Zusa’s entering WWII was a war of choice.

    Again, there is a sense in which what you say here is correct, given that since the mid-C19th the US has been safe from external aggression to a degree that no other nation has had the luxury of being able to claim, and yet has continue to wage wars overseas.

    But this has not been the perception of the American people, aided by clever opinion management and the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever seen, in Hollywood and the US news networks.

    And, of course, the immediate trigger for US formal involvement in WW2 was Pearl Harbor. Ordinary Americans had no notion that it was a preventive war by Japan in response to decades of deliberate US pressure to try to strangle Japan and destroy it as a potential rival. They just saw it as they were told to see it – as an act of supposedly unprovoked aggression and clear evidence of a supposedly direct threat to their existence as a nation.

    But look, whatever, we clearly do not agree on this, let’s leave it at that.

    Fair enough.

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  101. saker is right about some things and wrong about some. Our special forces are good but they can only do so much. There’s not enough of them to win wars and that’s not what they’re for anyways. They can be a multiplier in small strategic ways.

    A lot of the inability of the US to not win wars is because we’re not fighting wars of survival and our propaganda says that we’re the good guys and are fighting for the people. Well if you fight under these assumptions you can’t just waste everyone. If the objectives were to just win and only just to win we could be much more effective. Simple example. Every time an Afghan village fires at US troops everyone is killed, the crops destroyed and the village razed. It would not be long before they stopped shooting at us or all the Afghans abandoned the country for Pakistan. The Soviets had the same problem.

    Another reason is we don’t have the soldiers. With less than 10% actually doing the fighting the amount of troops we have is very small. If any long term fighting is called for then 30% will be fighting, 30% will be training and 30% will be resting and refitting further curtailing the amount of troops we have.

    God forbid we attack Iran. I want Iran to balance the Israelis myself but if we did. I would invade the land near the strait in that pocket you see in Iran. Cover the hill tops with artillery. Move troops out of the pocket into the country side, all the time advancing the artillery from hilltop to hilltop. Use drones thermal cameras to look for the opposing side. I think we would lose very few troops. Any Iranians who came out would be destroyed by artillery. We have LOTS of artillery shells and can easily make more.

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  102. Thank you. I concur with this analysis all the way. I would add this, as a Shia Muslim myself and an Aussie by birth. Not only Shias the world over but a large number of Sunnis will stand with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Those who see the Wahhabis for what they are, see Iran as the only true example of an Islamic state today. Sunnis can hardly claim they have any contenders and no devout ones I know do. Strike Iran and you strike the heart of true Islam, something the modern world has as yet not met. Despite them thinking that is what they’re seeing in those Hollywood Mutant Ninja Jihadis. Those sort of idiots have been trying to genocide Shias for over 1000 years. Being a small minority, if Shias we’re not five times tougher and more committed than the Takfiri and Salafi hordes arrayed against them they’d long since be gone. The USA is a puppy state. it has no standing before Islam or Iran.

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  103. @Wally
    And Iran would respond with biological & chemical weapons, which I'm sure they have plenty of.
    They're inexpensive, easy to make & deploy.

    Not so. These weapons have been used against Iran, by proxies of the USA, who supplied them. It is to your shame you would accuse the worst victim of their use in modern times!
    Iran has forsworn such weapons as un-Islamic. You need to stop believing the US and Zionist propaganda.

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  104. @chris
    Trump's also got to watch his back in any military operation he undertakes. Whereas the establishment lead the destruction of the ME countries and protected the presidents involved, they might just let the system go after Trump if he did the same thing!

    They'll play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules with him. They'll let him have "his war" against Iran, to fulfill their own agenda, and than they'll go after him for doing it for the wrong reasons. In the end they'll get rid of him while pretending to stand for the rule of law as well.

    (For this reasons, I actually don't think Trump is planning any war on Iran. It's the little ruse he uses, first making you think he's going to take Romny, Giuliani, Bolton, Abrams, or any other of these criminally insane lunatics into his cabinet, and then unceremoniously dropping their sorry asses. Starting a new war in the ME goes too much against his very clear and astute criticism of the establishment, which he so successfully campaigned against.)

    I’m over all that. It is a puppet show. The phony Muslim ban showed that. Trump and the MSM agreed to protect the Saudis I noticed. Nobody going to assassinate Trump, that’s part of the show. Just razzamatazz.

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    • Replies: @chris
    I wish I could prove you wrong, but of course, I can't!
    Let's see what happens.
  105. any attack on iran,a fatal blow will not take longer than i hour.it will be aimed at civiluan population centres and it will herald in a return to the dark ages.

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  106. @Max Payne
    I've been waiting for 10 years for this war to happen. Yet I believe Trump will be like the others, when push comes to shove he'll pussy out.

    Maaaannn.... we're never gonna have a war with Iran. That's some bullshit right there.

    Yes and here I was looking forward to seeing “Israel” gone in a cloud of smoke and the USA collapsing into the sewer it has dug under itself. never mind it is still on the cards. Iran will be around long after the the US Empire and Rothschildlandia are history. Not even more than 300 years between them too and what a hash they both made of it!

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  107. @Anatoly Karlin

    This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”.
     
    That was partially true for the UK, not so much for the US, which focused on armaments factories and fuel depots.

    If not for the bombing campaign the German armaments production surge in 1943-44 would have been greater, its mechanized forces would have been more mobile, and the Western Allies and especially the USSR would have incurred greater casualties.

    Still why not score a cheap meaningless point against the Anglo-Zionists.

    Yes, the Americans engaged in what they – laughablely – called “precision bombing”: which in reality ended looking like British “area bombing”….Strategic bombing (especially at the end of the war) did have some (very expensive in men & materials) utility.
    Just as importantly it was a political trade with the Russians for the long — long “promised” “second front”…
    (Of course it also helped Russia by sucking away air resources to German cities)
    Naturally, there has been considerable debate for some time about whether the strategic air war in Europe was “worth it”.

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  108. @NoseytheDuke
    Wow! I knew it was bad but had no idea of the extent of it and just how bad. Thanks.

    You got it Anonymous, and all ground forces have been exposed as well.

    August 7, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

    The Genie is Out of the Bottle

    Needless to say I was shocked at what he told me next: “The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear strike, probably by cruise missiles launched from aircrafts near the borders of Syria or right off the coast in the Mediterranean.”

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/08/07/nuclear-strike-on-syria/

    Aug 1, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

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    • Replies: @SmoothieX12

    Aug 1, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria
     
    This is NOT a "nuclear strike" since it lacks most of the damaging factors (porazhayushie faktory) of even a tactical nuke among which initial flash, should it have been a nuclear strike, would have affected those screaming Allahu Akbar in the video in the most nasty way, such as making them temporarily or permanently blind. Should this have been even a low-yield tactical nuke used there I can guarantee 100% a global shitstorm with inevitable emergency UNSC meeting within several hours of the event. Nuclear "strike" my ass.

    P.S. Russia, US and China (I think) have satellites specifically designed for detection of nuclear weapons' tests and actual use.

  109. @Sergey Krieger
    Smoothie, nobody is talking about Russia position and possible reaction to all this that's being discussed. What's your opinion? Iran is Russia neighbor so to speak and all this is supposed to happen along Russia borders including possibility of nuclear strikes.

    I can not conceive that Russia will allow Iran to “fall” without some kind of interference since establishment of the puppet “pro-Western” govt there will mean only one thing–military bases in Russia’s soft underbelly. That was the case prior to fall of House of Pahlavi in 1979, including establishment of electronic surveillance posts on Soviet-Iranian border in Talysh Mountains which operated under the auspices of CENTO . The domes and antennas of that facility were dominating Astara. This is as far as I can see it now–it is a very complex region with a bizarre dynamics (f.e. Iran and Armenia have very good relations) so it is very difficult to predict other than in general. Russia certainly wants to have Caspian Sea as her (plus former USSR republics) and Iranian internal sea.

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  110. @Agent76
    You got it Anonymous, and all ground forces have been exposed as well.

    August 7, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

    The Genie is Out of the Bottle

    Needless to say I was shocked at what he told me next: “The fact of the matter is, what we are seeing in both these cases is a tactical nuclear strike, probably by cruise missiles launched from aircrafts near the borders of Syria or right off the coast in the Mediterranean.”

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/08/07/nuclear-strike-on-syria/

    Aug 1, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

    https://youtu.be/4GQRf1auUMc

    Aug 1, 2013 Nuclear Strike on Syria

    This is NOT a “nuclear strike” since it lacks most of the damaging factors (porazhayushie faktory) of even a tactical nuke among which initial flash, should it have been a nuclear strike, would have affected those screaming Allahu Akbar in the video in the most nasty way, such as making them temporarily or permanently blind. Should this have been even a low-yield tactical nuke used there I can guarantee 100% a global shitstorm with inevitable emergency UNSC meeting within several hours of the event. Nuclear “strike” my ass.

    P.S. Russia, US and China (I think) have satellites specifically designed for detection of nuclear weapons’ tests and actual use.

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  111. It seems like the author doesn’t understand warfare. Special Operations forces (in most cases) ARE different from their conventional counterparts. And, as far as police forces go, SWAT actually ARE considered special forces (different training, equipment, and duties from the standard patrol).

    Be it military OR police–for special forces the training is different, equipment is different, tactics are MUCH different. I don’t think this source is legit.

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  112. Wait, Iran would bomb Israel if the US goes to war with them?

    What are we waiting for?

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  113. @Rabbitnexus
    I'm over all that. It is a puppet show. The phony Muslim ban showed that. Trump and the MSM agreed to protect the Saudis I noticed. Nobody going to assassinate Trump, that's part of the show. Just razzamatazz.

    I wish I could prove you wrong, but of course, I can’t!
    Let’s see what happens.

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  114. @Thirdeye

    The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.
     
    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie's statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.

    The US knew that there was a real issue with Kuwait violating Iraqi mineral rights with whipstock oil drilling. Had Iraq's response been targeted to that particular issue, the US probably would not have responded militarily and might even have mediated. US policy towards Iraq had two objectives at the time. One was to keep Iraq from stepping on the toes of the gulf states. The other was to use Iraq as a deterrent to Iran. Once Iraq went way beyond the scope of what the US expected with respect to Kuwait, the objective was to humiliate Saddam but not destroy the Iraqi state. Given the scale of the Iraqi defeat, it was not unreasonable for the GHWB administration to anticipate a coup against Saddam from within the Baathist structure. There were in fact signals sent to encourage that.

    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie’s statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.

    After the Iran revolution, the US had lost all bases in the Persian Gulf. They needed a escape goat to get their foot back in the Gulf. Desert Storm was nothing but to scare Saudi Arabia into allowing the US to establish bases in the kingdom. To do that they needed Iraq to invade Kuwait and knock at the Saudi door. Which Saddam gladly obliged but he did not expect the US response of that magnitude.

    Saudis wanted Saddam defeated but not deposed because they needed him as a deterrent to Iran. GHW Bush wanted him gone but he did not want to antagonize the Saudis so he gave signals to Iraqis to do his dirty work for him. Shias and Kurds acted on Bush’s signals but without any support from US. The result was a massacre of Shias and Kurds. All that blood is on GHW Bush’s hands.

    Desert Storm was a typical “shock and awe” response from the exceptional nation.

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  115. @Agent76
    All part of the grand plan of the Bankster's since *ALL* Wars are Banker's War's!

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years

    "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"

    https://youtu.be/9RC1Mepk_Sw

    It’s not that I have anything against Amy Goodman (which I do: she’s a sold-out imperialist gatekeeper) but this DemocracyNow clip is the lamest explanation of the Pentagon’s “7 countries in 5 years” plan. Wesley Clark says some ‘hammer and nails’ nonsense, as if attacking Iraq was about terrorists. Later he says oil was the cause. Well, it certainly got the ball rolling, but it’s also a distraction.

    As you’ve noted, these ME wars are about much more than oil. (Bankers, Israel, etc.) At the time of these talks, Gen. Clark was hawking his book and running for President. Speaking to the Commonwealth Club of California, he revealed factors at play long before “terrorism” was even an excuse. In 1991, after the first Gulf War, taking out former Soviet allies in the Mid-East was already high on the agenda.

    Does the extra 5 minutes scare you? I guess I have to keep posting this myself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E
    General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years

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  116. I’m not entirely sure what US policy makers would even hope to accomplish by waging a war with Iran at this time. Would it be to destroy a nuclear weapons program that doesn’t exist? Would it be to bomb knowledge out of people? Would it be to replace a “democracy” with a “democracy”? Would it be to lower oil prices by bombing oil fields?

    What’s the compelling reason or need?

    What’s the argument now?

    All I want to know as a US citizen is: what positive can possibly be in it for me personally? I’m at a loss here…

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  117. @Thirdeye

    The reality of the matter is, George H.W. Bush almost certainly wanted a pretext to establish permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, so he was happy to trick Saddam into invading Kuwait in order to achieve that goal.
     
    I recently had occasion to ask someone who, in an official capacity, was intimately familiar with the process leading up to Desert Storm. In his opinion Glaspie's statement really was a mis-communication rather than a ruse.

    The US knew that there was a real issue with Kuwait violating Iraqi mineral rights with whipstock oil drilling. Had Iraq's response been targeted to that particular issue, the US probably would not have responded militarily and might even have mediated. US policy towards Iraq had two objectives at the time. One was to keep Iraq from stepping on the toes of the gulf states. The other was to use Iraq as a deterrent to Iran. Once Iraq went way beyond the scope of what the US expected with respect to Kuwait, the objective was to humiliate Saddam but not destroy the Iraqi state. Given the scale of the Iraqi defeat, it was not unreasonable for the GHWB administration to anticipate a coup against Saddam from within the Baathist structure. There were in fact signals sent to encourage that.

    In the lead-up to the invasion of Kuwait, the United States’ ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, met with Saddam.  According to a transcript of that meeting released by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, Ambassador Glaspie told Saddam, “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” http://www.salon.com/2016/02/28/theyre_still_lying_about_the_first_gulf_war_how_the_first_george_bush_helped_create_todays_middle_east_trouble/

    No it was not a mis-communication . It was calculated and designed to get Saddam do what Saddam was unequivocal about doing . Given his history, his clear reference not even an oblique one , this threat should have been taken seriously and US position should have been communicated in the clearest . US did not do it . US basically offered him their support . US would repeat the same oblique assurances to the Kurds and Shia just a few months later . No these were not mis steps They were calculated and designed .

    . Kuwait was invaded before in 1960s It was Egypt who peacefully sorted the things out .
    In 1990 Gulf and Egypt tried their best to be allowed to mediate again but they were stomped on the faces and asked to follow what UK US were planning .

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Am I missing something? In the light of the way the US allowed the war to end and Saddam Hussein to remain as President of Iraq what possible motive could it have had to promote the invasion of Kuwait and that excuse for going to war?
  118. @KA
    In the lead-up to the invasion of Kuwait, the United States’ ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, met with Saddam.  According to a transcript of that meeting released by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, Ambassador Glaspie told Saddam, “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” http://www.salon.com/2016/02/28/theyre_still_lying_about_the_first_gulf_war_how_the_first_george_bush_helped_create_todays_middle_east_trouble/

    No it was not a mis-communication . It was calculated and designed to get Saddam do what Saddam was unequivocal about doing . Given his history, his clear reference not even an oblique one , this threat should have been taken seriously and US position should have been communicated in the clearest . US did not do it . US basically offered him their support . US would repeat the same oblique assurances to the Kurds and Shia just a few months later . No these were not mis steps They were calculated and designed .


    . Kuwait was invaded before in 1960s It was Egypt who peacefully sorted the things out .
    In 1990 Gulf and Egypt tried their best to be allowed to mediate again but they were stomped on the faces and asked to follow what UK US were planning .

    Am I missing something? In the light of the way the US allowed the war to end and Saddam Hussein to remain as President of Iraq what possible motive could it have had to promote the invasion of Kuwait and that excuse for going to war?

    Read More
    • Replies: @KA
    There could be many explanations but one thing is clear from this quotes that was US didi not worry about the effects on its own situation -economic and political - from an Iraqi invasion.


    Bush was not interested to invade He was called wimp by Thatcher Thatcher cabinet was fully on board for attacking Saddam. Thatcher was the first Conservative cabinet in decades to fill his cabinet with pro Israeli Jews. ( read NYT )

    At the same time Israeli FM minister Levy was threatening that Israel would attack if US did not ( read NYT ) . Same time Lantos was calculating how to persuade the public for war .Same time Liberman (Joe) with his forked tongue saying that a warning to attack Iraq would be inked in the Congressional proposals which would work as deterrent against saddam and he would quit Oncee the Congressional proposal was passed , he used it to say what good it was if we did not follow through with the threats .

    So let's compare this to the situation in 2013 when Obama half heatedly tried to teach Syria for violating the politics-media -human right watch -fabricated Red Lines He did not and faced enormous resentment and anger from AIPAC and other bodies . This time public helped him out . Bush sr did not have that support. Makes sense now to you . Bush did not have the same reason the AIOPAC had to invade Iraq . Obama did not have the same reason AIPAC had but they almost merged only to break apart under popular pressure .

    So take your pick .

    , @KA
    Bush sr was not going to undermine his own chances of reelection or face everyday media barrage and thus lose the pol number Saddam was to him another guy like Noreiga only from ME . It was a low hanging fruit He wrung it out like one does wrings out the head of a chicken from its neck . It was easy way out He took the path of the least resistance .
    , @KA
    1 Labour had once been Britain’s most pro-Zionist party. This began to change when support for Palestinian statehood entered party policy. Mr. Corbyn arrived as a new member of Parliament in 1983 as a sponsor of the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine, a new group that was pledged to “eradicate Zionism” from the party and saw Israel as a colonial implant in the Middle East. Rather than being a legitimate expression of Jewish national longing, Zionism was then labeled a racist ideology akin to apartheid.

    At the same time, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government included a record number of Jewish ministers. Most British Jews had long since moved on from their origins in a prewar immigrant working class, and many among the new suburban Jewish middle class were attracted to Mrs. Thatcher’s entrepreneurial capitalism. According to the historian Geoffrey Alderman, “Anglo-Jewish political attitudes and loyalties, which were substantially Liberal for much of the 19th century and substantially Labour in the mid-20th, are now substantially Conservative.” https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/opinion/anti-semitism-and-the-british-left.html?_r=0


    2 n Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported today that Mr. Levy told Mr. Brown that if the United States failed to confront Iraq militarily, Israel might attack Iraq. Officials at the United States Embassy and at the Foreign Ministry said the newspaper report "went too far."

    Still, Mr. Levy said today that Israel might do just that, out of fear that Iraq might use its military power to attack Israel sometime in the future. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/06/world/standoff-in-the-gulf-israel-warns-against-a-gulf-retreat.html
    , @KA
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/10/the-neocons-back-door-to-trump/

    Does it make sense to assert that we would destroy IS and global Islamic terrorism and then slather underneath the Saudi Israeli bed cover to screw Iran? It doesn't from the perspective of normalcy,national interest,global obligation. But it does make sense for somebody and he or she will get the half of the work done rather none of the work not done and wait for opportunity for finishing later
    Saddam was finished later Neocons wanted to finish him there and then in 1991 and create post 2003 Middle East back in 1990 They had to wait to their chagrin and resentment until 911
  119. @Wizard of Oz
    Am I missing something? In the light of the way the US allowed the war to end and Saddam Hussein to remain as President of Iraq what possible motive could it have had to promote the invasion of Kuwait and that excuse for going to war?

    There could be many explanations but one thing is clear from this quotes that was US didi not worry about the effects on its own situation -economic and political – from an Iraqi invasion.

    Bush was not interested to invade He was called wimp by Thatcher Thatcher cabinet was fully on board for attacking Saddam. Thatcher was the first Conservative cabinet in decades to fill his cabinet with pro Israeli Jews. ( read NYT )

    At the same time Israeli FM minister Levy was threatening that Israel would attack if US did not ( read NYT ) . Same time Lantos was calculating how to persuade the public for war .Same time Liberman (Joe) with his forked tongue saying that a warning to attack Iraq would be inked in the Congressional proposals which would work as deterrent against saddam and he would quit Oncee the Congressional proposal was passed , he used it to say what good it was if we did not follow through with the threats .

    So let’s compare this to the situation in 2013 when Obama half heatedly tried to teach Syria for violating the politics-media -human right watch -fabricated Red Lines He did not and faced enormous resentment and anger from AIPAC and other bodies . This time public helped him out . Bush sr did not have that support. Makes sense now to you . Bush did not have the same reason the AIOPAC had to invade Iraq . Obama did not have the same reason AIPAC had but they almost merged only to break apart under popular pressure .

    So take your pick .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Your four replies to me have much of interest in them but I don't think they quite answer my question. Clearly it wasn't a Bush policy to set up Saddam Hussein by luring him into invading Kuwait. But I concede that even a non-conspiratorial mind might inquire about the total pattern of causation behind the ambassador's unfortunate words. Where perhaps was the neo-con influence in shaping them?
  120. @Wizard of Oz
    Am I missing something? In the light of the way the US allowed the war to end and Saddam Hussein to remain as President of Iraq what possible motive could it have had to promote the invasion of Kuwait and that excuse for going to war?

    Bush sr was not going to undermine his own chances of reelection or face everyday media barrage and thus lose the pol number Saddam was to him another guy like Noreiga only from ME . It was a low hanging fruit He wrung it out like one does wrings out the head of a chicken from its neck . It was easy way out He took the path of the least resistance .

    Read More
  121. […] THE SAKER / The Unz Review, en The Saker. (Traducción de Leonardo Del […]

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  122. @Wizard of Oz
    Am I missing something? In the light of the way the US allowed the war to end and Saddam Hussein to remain as President of Iraq what possible motive could it have had to promote the invasion of Kuwait and that excuse for going to war?

    1 Labour had once been Britain’s most pro-Zionist party. This began to change when support for Palestinian statehood entered party policy. Mr. Corbyn arrived as a new member of Parliament in 1983 as a sponsor of the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine, a new group that was pledged to “eradicate Zionism” from the party and saw Israel as a colonial implant in the Middle East. Rather than being a legitimate expression of Jewish national longing, Zionism was then labeled a racist ideology akin to apartheid.

    At the same time, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government included a record number of Jewish ministers. Most British Jews had long since moved on from their origins in a prewar immigrant working class, and many among the new suburban Jewish middle class were attracted to Mrs. Thatcher’s entrepreneurial capitalism. According to the historian Geoffrey Alderman, “Anglo-Jewish political attitudes and loyalties, which were substantially Liberal for much of the 19th century and substantially Labour in the mid-20th, are now substantially Conservative.” https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/12/opinion/anti-semitism-and-the-british-left.html?_r=0

    2 n Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported today that Mr. Levy told Mr. Brown that if the United States failed to confront Iraq militarily, Israel might attack Iraq. Officials at the United States Embassy and at the Foreign Ministry said the newspaper report “went too far.”

    Still, Mr. Levy said today that Israel might do just that, out of fear that Iraq might use its military power to attack Israel sometime in the future. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/06/world/standoff-in-the-gulf-israel-warns-against-a-gulf-retreat.html

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  123. @Lot

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one that can’t do the math. Most of the info on the Internet is incoherent.

    Last year US produced about 9 mil. bpd and consumed 19 mil. bpd.
     
    We did not "consume" 19 mil bpd. 4.7bpld of refined oil products are exported from the United States. In other words, we have excess refining capacity compared to domestic consumption, so almost exactly half of the oil imported to the USA was re-exported after being refined, primarily into gasoline and diesel fuel.

    Thus, my numbers are right. You can read more here:

    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6

    Or You can read more here:

    https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_crude_oil_net_imports

    You know, funny thing about internet is you can find sources to support any claim. According to the website above, US net oil imports are twice as high as your source suggests, and if I had to bet I would say that they are probably both wrong and the real numbers are even higher.

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  124. @Wizard of Oz
    Am I missing something? In the light of the way the US allowed the war to end and Saddam Hussein to remain as President of Iraq what possible motive could it have had to promote the invasion of Kuwait and that excuse for going to war?

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/10/the-neocons-back-door-to-trump/

    Does it make sense to assert that we would destroy IS and global Islamic terrorism and then slather underneath the Saudi Israeli bed cover to screw Iran? It doesn’t from the perspective of normalcy,national interest,global obligation. But it does make sense for somebody and he or she will get the half of the work done rather none of the work not done and wait for opportunity for finishing later
    Saddam was finished later Neocons wanted to finish him there and then in 1991 and create post 2003 Middle East back in 1990 They had to wait to their chagrin and resentment until 911

    Read More
  125. @KA
    There could be many explanations but one thing is clear from this quotes that was US didi not worry about the effects on its own situation -economic and political - from an Iraqi invasion.


    Bush was not interested to invade He was called wimp by Thatcher Thatcher cabinet was fully on board for attacking Saddam. Thatcher was the first Conservative cabinet in decades to fill his cabinet with pro Israeli Jews. ( read NYT )

    At the same time Israeli FM minister Levy was threatening that Israel would attack if US did not ( read NYT ) . Same time Lantos was calculating how to persuade the public for war .Same time Liberman (Joe) with his forked tongue saying that a warning to attack Iraq would be inked in the Congressional proposals which would work as deterrent against saddam and he would quit Oncee the Congressional proposal was passed , he used it to say what good it was if we did not follow through with the threats .

    So let's compare this to the situation in 2013 when Obama half heatedly tried to teach Syria for violating the politics-media -human right watch -fabricated Red Lines He did not and faced enormous resentment and anger from AIPAC and other bodies . This time public helped him out . Bush sr did not have that support. Makes sense now to you . Bush did not have the same reason the AIOPAC had to invade Iraq . Obama did not have the same reason AIPAC had but they almost merged only to break apart under popular pressure .

    So take your pick .

    Your four replies to me have much of interest in them but I don’t think they quite answer my question. Clearly it wasn’t a Bush policy to set up Saddam Hussein by luring him into invading Kuwait. But I concede that even a non-conspiratorial mind might inquire about the total pattern of causation behind the ambassador’s unfortunate words. Where perhaps was the neo-con influence in shaping them?

    Read More
    • Replies: @KA
    No it was not a Budh policy. Bush administration knew . They did not care. Israeli supporters saw the opportunity . They used the opportunity to the hilt. Kuwaiti rulers paid Lantos and a few other lobbyists . Saudis were promised not to worry America would put base and replace Saddam as bulwark against any threat .
    Spin began to absolve Bush . Rather than asserting that was American position, Bush circled half of the truth to 180 degree and sad it did not exist it was conspiracy,layer it was miscommunication. He didn't have the guts . He did not have the support .
    Didn't he say - he was alone in DC against thousands other guy and can't defend American interest against Israeli obstruction. ? That fight was not a limited skirmish or hangout. It embraced the impact even remotest of the entire policy direction on Israel . AIPAc's Dine would answer the question how they worked behind to get the war rolling
  126. @Wizard of Oz
    Your four replies to me have much of interest in them but I don't think they quite answer my question. Clearly it wasn't a Bush policy to set up Saddam Hussein by luring him into invading Kuwait. But I concede that even a non-conspiratorial mind might inquire about the total pattern of causation behind the ambassador's unfortunate words. Where perhaps was the neo-con influence in shaping them?

    No it was not a Budh policy. Bush administration knew . They did not care. Israeli supporters saw the opportunity . They used the opportunity to the hilt. Kuwaiti rulers paid Lantos and a few other lobbyists . Saudis were promised not to worry America would put base and replace Saddam as bulwark against any threat .
    Spin began to absolve Bush . Rather than asserting that was American position, Bush circled half of the truth to 180 degree and sad it did not exist it was conspiracy,layer it was miscommunication. He didn’t have the guts . He did not have the support .
    Didn’t he say – he was alone in DC against thousands other guy and can’t defend American interest against Israeli obstruction. ? That fight was not a limited skirmish or hangout. It embraced the impact even remotest of the entire policy direction on Israel . AIPAc’s Dine would answer the question how they worked behind to get the war rolling

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    So did Glaspie know what ot was all about and how she was being (willingly or unwillingly?) manipulated? Or was she an innocent conduit who only came to realise too late what she had enabled?
  127. @KA
    No it was not a Budh policy. Bush administration knew . They did not care. Israeli supporters saw the opportunity . They used the opportunity to the hilt. Kuwaiti rulers paid Lantos and a few other lobbyists . Saudis were promised not to worry America would put base and replace Saddam as bulwark against any threat .
    Spin began to absolve Bush . Rather than asserting that was American position, Bush circled half of the truth to 180 degree and sad it did not exist it was conspiracy,layer it was miscommunication. He didn't have the guts . He did not have the support .
    Didn't he say - he was alone in DC against thousands other guy and can't defend American interest against Israeli obstruction. ? That fight was not a limited skirmish or hangout. It embraced the impact even remotest of the entire policy direction on Israel . AIPAc's Dine would answer the question how they worked behind to get the war rolling

    So did Glaspie know what ot was all about and how she was being (willingly or unwillingly?) manipulated? Or was she an innocent conduit who only came to realise too late what she had enabled?

    Read More
    • Replies: @KA
    No she was not She was articulating American real position - America has no skin in this fight .
  128. @Wizard of Oz
    So did Glaspie know what ot was all about and how she was being (willingly or unwillingly?) manipulated? Or was she an innocent conduit who only came to realise too late what she had enabled?

    No she was not She was articulating American real position – America has no skin in this fight .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    So... a horrible accident because the ambassador was not well enough informed about the region and smart or imaginative enough to foresee the possible consequences of her words. Surely an averagely canny diplomat would have said something like "my country does not have any obvious material stake in the outcome of your dispute with Kuwait but that is not to say that other unforseen matters relevant to policy might not arise".
  129. @KA
    No she was not She was articulating American real position - America has no skin in this fight .

    So… a horrible accident because the ambassador was not well enough informed about the region and smart or imaginative enough to foresee the possible consequences of her words. Surely an averagely canny diplomat would have said something like “my country does not have any obvious material stake in the outcome of your dispute with Kuwait but that is not to say that other unforseen matters relevant to policy might not arise”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @KA
    That is your interpretation without anything to support that interpretation .Saddam was in American good side until few months after the invasion .Before invasion American advice when sought by Saddam was consistent with the relationship both have enjoyed until then . That's why Saddam asked US not Russia or china .

    But then other forces upended American stated policy .
  130. @Lot
    I'm not sure what the point of gaming out a US invasion and occupation of Iran. We have no desire or incentive to do so.

    If Iran responds to a limited bombing aimed at key nuclear and military targets with mining Hormuz and shooting missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel, the response would be devastating. In a matter of a few months, all of its military bases, bridges, airports, interurban roads, and large factories would be destroyed. It would have no electricity outside of backup generators. All its oil would be worthless with no ability to export it or refine it. Its economy would collapse and would face famine with no ability to move enough food to feed the 15 million people in greater Tehran, not to mention its other cities.

    So what if it has tunnels and a few remote hardened bunkers?

    I’m not sure what the point of gaming out a US invasion and occupation of Iran. We have no desire or incentive to do so.

    For the same reason movie characters do stupid things. To heighten the drama. Since policymakers are not Hollywood scriptwriters trying to ramp up the drama to sell movie tickets, but politicians trying to reduce the drama so as to be able to jack up their poll ratings, I expect them to hit Iran in a way that minimizes their political risks.

    GWB invaded and occupied Iraq on the assumption that US troops would be welcomed. Obviously he’s got to keep up a strong front in order to not devalue the sacrifices of the GI’s and assorted American civilians who died there. But if he had known that 5,000 GI’s would end up coming home in caskets because of the occupation, he probably would have stayed his hand, or at least withdrawn quickly after appointing a new Iraqi leader.

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  131. @Wizard of Oz
    So... a horrible accident because the ambassador was not well enough informed about the region and smart or imaginative enough to foresee the possible consequences of her words. Surely an averagely canny diplomat would have said something like "my country does not have any obvious material stake in the outcome of your dispute with Kuwait but that is not to say that other unforseen matters relevant to policy might not arise".

    That is your interpretation without anything to support that interpretation .Saddam was in American good side until few months after the invasion .Before invasion American advice when sought by Saddam was consistent with the relationship both have enjoyed until then . That’s why Saddam asked US not Russia or china .

    But then other forces upended American stated policy .

    Read More
  132. War with Iran could be won effectively and efficiently if we had a strong leader like Hillary in office instead of the racist psychopath.

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  133. What a completely ridiculous article. Iran couldn’t beat Iraq. America completely decimated Iraq in 4 days. This asshole comes across as a socialist, butthurt European who hates the USA because they’re strong. Europe is all but lost because of idiots like this author.

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  134. @macilrae
    Both Americans and Israelis get mighty unsettled when they actually start to take losses in an engagement - it makes them scared and it makes them vindictive: it's not supposed to happen. Remember the reprisals that occurred when, I think, thirteen Israelis got killed in their first major Gaza incursion? Remember what triggered Falujah? The huge Achilles heel of both is that they simply cannot take losses and as soon as they start taking them, they back off and maybe saturate the area with cluster-bomblets or demolish populated city blocks to get one sniper. Troops that can return to base at the end of the day for video games and a choice between Burger King or McDonalds don't do so well against an enemy which has been waiting for them all night in freezing dugouts.


    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I'd predict that the IDF would reply with nukes - ironical when you consider this whole thing heated up over the possibility that Iran might obtain them. I am not so sure how many nukes the Iranians could take before folding - I suspect the Israelis have more than enough.

    What exactly does “folding” mean? Do you envision some form of formal capitulation or do you mean the typical failed state outcome that has been America’s way of winning for the last few wars?

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  135. @macilrae
    Both Americans and Israelis get mighty unsettled when they actually start to take losses in an engagement - it makes them scared and it makes them vindictive: it's not supposed to happen. Remember the reprisals that occurred when, I think, thirteen Israelis got killed in their first major Gaza incursion? Remember what triggered Falujah? The huge Achilles heel of both is that they simply cannot take losses and as soon as they start taking them, they back off and maybe saturate the area with cluster-bomblets or demolish populated city blocks to get one sniper. Troops that can return to base at the end of the day for video games and a choice between Burger King or McDonalds don't do so well against an enemy which has been waiting for them all night in freezing dugouts.


    Now, if Tel Aviv started to receive missile strikes I'd predict that the IDF would reply with nukes - ironical when you consider this whole thing heated up over the possibility that Iran might obtain them. I am not so sure how many nukes the Iranians could take before folding - I suspect the Israelis have more than enough.

    The problem with nukes for the entity – is that no matter how many they have it will never be enough. Any nuclear strike by the idf against Iran would mean the complete destruction of the zionists. Not just in the ME – but across the globe. The gloves would be off and revenge squads (not fake anglo/zionist show terrorists) would mercilessly go after all zionist targets and individuals. Security forces would be overwhelmed and how many goyims would be prepared to die defending globalists is questionable.
    That is after the Iranians completely carpet bomb all entity cities and population centres with a continuous unstoppable barrage of ballistic missiles. The missiles would keep coming – just like in Lebanon in 2006.
    The problem for the anglo/zionists – how long they will keep this in perspective is questionable – is that once started the war will not just stop. Even if the Mullahs in Tehran wanted to stop it – they would no longer be able to control the patriotic will and subsquent lust for revenge across not just the military but the civilian population.
    The only reason ww2 ended was because the Wehrmacht was ground into oblivion by the Red Army. The US is not the Red Army and certainly the holiday crowd occupying Palestine is even further from that harsh reality. A reality that would be made apparent to the world with a nuclear detonation on Iranian soil. It would be all or nothing at that point.

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  136. […] at all: a war with any of them would be a guaranteed disaster (I wrote about a war in Iran here and about a war with Russia too many times to count). So why is it that even though out of the […]

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  137. […] at all: a war with any of them would be a guaranteed disaster (I wrote about a war in Iran here and about a war with Russia too many times to count). So why is it that even though out of the […]

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